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Climate Change and the Mexican National Energy Strategy 2012-2026

Climate Change and the Mexican National Energy Strategy 2012-2026

A few days ago, on April 9th, the Chamber of Deputies of the Mexican Congress approved the 2012-2026 National Energy Strategy (ENE, for its Spanish acronym). Once it is published in the Official Journal of the Federation, it will become the official planning and execution tool of public policies concerning the energy sector, outlining it within a 15 years-horizon.

The ENE is the result of extensive dialogue between various government sectors and, since the additions to Article 33, Section VI of the Organic Law of Federal Public Administration mandating the creation of a Consultative Forum, representatives of state and local governments, public institutions of higher education and the social and private sectors are included in the discussion. Such diversity of actors and profiles participating in the creation of this document represents an opportunity to embrace topics not only concerning energy transversally but those that have become priorities, such as the environment.


Importance of oil industry

Mexico emits almost 2% of the greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world, which come mostly from the energy sector, fact that positions the country among the top fifteen emitters in the world. In this regard, Mexico has made before the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change the non-binding commitment of reducing 50% of its GHG emissions by 2050, being the year 2000 the baseline. However, this scenario is unlikely to happen considering the great economic importance that the oil industry has for the country.

In 2010, fossil fuels represented 92% of the gross domestic energy supply. Thus, the effort to achieve a substantial reduction of GHG emissions requires a profound transformation in production and consumption patterns, the use of green energy parallel to the economic decoupling from fossil fuels.

Being this the situation, the ENE has seven structural objectives: (1) to increase the production of oil and natural gas, (2) to diversify energy sources, giving priority to increase the participation of non-fossil technologies, (3) to increase the efficiency levels of energy consumption in all sectors, (4) to reduce the environmental impact of the energy sector, (5) to operate in an efficient, reliable and safe energy infrastructure, (6) to strengthen and modernize the sector’s infrastructure and (7) to promote the development of the petrochemical industry.


Unambitious goal

Beyond the fact that some of the objectives may seem contradictory, especially the relationship between the increase in oil production and the increase in the share of non-fossil technologies, the ENE sets a specific goal of GHG emissions reduction by 2026 and establishes a clear goal of generating 35% of the electricity from non-fossil sources.

However, according to the International Energy Agency, to avoid catastrophic climate disruption, non-fossil energy sources should generate half of the electricity needed for the planet in 2020, fact that positions the Mexican goal of 35% renewables by 2026 as unambitious, especially when considering the huge wind and solar potential of the country.


Read this article in Slovene

Photo: W(isible) Photography

Energy Technology Perspectives 2012: Pathways to a Clean Energy System, International Energy Agency, Mexico
National Energy Strategy 2012-2026, Secretaría de Energía, Mexico
Special Climate Change Programme 2009-2012, Published on the Official Journal of the Federation on August 28th, 2009.

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