5 June 2012: it is an important day for the entire world and nowadays it becomes a big date for Mexico.
Every year on 5th June the world celebrates the “world environmental day” (Wed). At the same day, Mexico made an important decision in this term, taking a positive environmental action which is known as the “General Law on Climate Change”.
The Law, which was enacted in the month of April by President Felipe Calderon, is characterized by mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases, giving a new institutional framework and a set of adaptation measures on environmental issues. After the decision of the Mexican senate, Mexico becomes the second country in the world, following the example of the United Kingdom, to set up long-term climate targets into its national legislation.
This legislation reflects the strong commitment of the country with all the international negotiations and international agreements on climate change. Indeed, it was a unanimous decision, demonstrating that the country desires to be an important protagonist on behalf of a “healthier world”. Approving this bill, the developing country claimed its decision to fight global warming supporting a sustainable development for their national economy.
In this sense, let’s go inside this law, in order to understand the most important points of this action, emphasizing some remarkable targets that will have consequences for the Mexican energy sector:
– to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2020 and 50% by 2050, based on levels from the year 2000.
– 35% of energy to come from renewable sources by 2024
– obligation for government agencies to use renewables
– establishment of a national mechanism for reporting on emissions in various sectors
It is known that Mexico is the sixth largest oil exporter in the world, therefore this law is innovative for a country where its population is growing and its economy is expanding over the last years. Hence, a more green economic vision is taking place in Mexico from the political system to different sectors of business.
One of the most important targets to reach will be the generation of 35% of the energy coming from renewable resources by 2024. This transition of the Mexican energy sector will have significant consequences.
Through this commitment, the country is trying to communicate to the national and international society that there is another way to grow and to expand their economy. This change of mentality and strategy means that Mexico is aware to abandon the oil era, implementing the development and the research of the renewable energy such as solar energy, wind energy, hydro-electricity and geothermal. Such options are going to be explored and improved by the public and private sector as the law mentioned.
Over the past year, there was a strong growth in the renewable energy sector. The country certainly represents a great investment opportunity for foreign companies which want to plan their projects in this promising market. In addition, the Government started several incentives in order to attract foreign capitals provided by the leading renewable energy enterprises.
For instance, “Enel Green Power” is the Enel Group Italian Company dedicated to the development and management of renewable energy sources throughout the world, with presence in Mexico since 2007. Here, the group developed and built its first wind farm in the state of Oaxaca, where the plant is comprised of 37 Gamesa wind turbines (a partner with a strong presence in the Mexican wind energy market) of 2 MW each. This could be an example of a foreign company which increases its footprint in Mexico’s promising renewable energy sector as Francesco Starace, CEO of Enel Green Power, stated; “We will continue to grow in the Country with this technology as well as hydro, a sector in which we are already present in Mexico”. This is just an example, however, of many other companies, which decided to invest their know-how in Mexico, thereby generating million kWh of clean energy annually, as well as avoiding atmospheric emissions of CO2 as the Mexican legislation seeks to achieve through the recent law on the climate change.
Regarding to the solar energy, Mexico arises its solar capacity in 2012. Also in this specific sector, Mexico is doing its part to conserve and contribute to a more sustainable future. Mexico is already the top solar energy producer in Latin America, and shows great potential for expansion moving forward. “Mexico is amongst the top five countries with the greatest extension of territory with solar irradiation,” said Carlos Flores, CEO of Conermex. “The nation receives approximately 400 TW of solar radiation a year.” In this sense, “Now Conermex”, a Mexican solar energy company, is aiming at doubling its electricity generated through solar energy by the end of 2012.
Mexico’s National Solar Energy Association (ANES) recently claimed that Mexico could one day generate all of its electricity from solar energy. As the country continues to invest in solar energy and realize its potential to do so, it makes great strides for the future of the environment, as well as the economy in Mexico.
From this point of view, over the past century, the world has fallen into a pattern of unsustainable economic growth. Accelerated consumption of fossil fuels and deforestation are only the most visible examples of how, in the effort to support our lifestyles, we are exhausting the planet’s natural resources and aggravating climate change.
Mexico is showing to us that it is possible a transition to a green economy that does not worsen climate change or destroy the planet in order to profit. Indeed, development of renewable energy and clean technology sectors must be accelerated to begin the shift to a post-carbon economy. A Green Economy not only protects ourselves and our planet, but can provide millions of jobs as we develop and install new technologies, rebuild and retrofit buildings, and devise new processes and modes of production.
Through this law, Mexico confirms a long-term vision on climate change, assuring that there is a new pattern to evolve the energy sector in a perspective of a sustainable way.