Mexico abides by United States climate policy, adding four wind farms in the Isthmus

Translated by Elizabeth L. T. Moore

Pictured: AMLO during a meeting with the United States special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry

Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador maintained this Wednesday, February 8, that, of the first round of the request for bids for 10 industrial park areas in southern Mexico’s Isthmus of Tehuantepec, four will be set aside for the generation of wind energy. This measure was taken as part of a climate change agreement established with the United States.

Obrador added that the United States special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, will set foot on Mexican territory for the seventh time on March 19 to supervise the areas set aside for wind energy generation in the Isthmus, where physical and legal infrastructure are being created in the so-called Interocean Corridor.

“This is an agreement with the United States government to contribute to confronting the climate change problem,” detailed the Mexican president.

The president of Mexico also assured that the four renewable energy generation complexes, adding to the 29 wind farms already in operation in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, will be part of the public agency Federal Electricity Commission (CFE in its Spanish initials). Furthermore, he emphasized that they will be funded by the United States or its banks, “with very low (interest) rates” and that they will be built “by Mexican and United States companies.”

Related - Mexican officials announce bids for Interoceanic Corridor industrial zones

The United States special envoy, along with the United States Ambassador to Mexico Ken Salazar and other officials, will meet on March 19 with the Mexican president and Chancellor Marcelo Ebrard with whom they’ve already met. During their participation in COP27, both countries outlined commitments to tackle climate change with an investment of $48 billion dollars. 

Among the objectives they’ve laid out to justify the creation of new renewable energy generation complexes is increasing their impact to reduce 22% to 35% of greenhouse gas emissions in the next eight years. This means doubling the Mexican territory’s infrastructure to generate twice as much of the current renewable energy emissions until 2030, on track with the production of an additional 40 gigawatts (GW).

“These goals will allow the North American region to have one of the most efficient energy transitions [...] President López Obrador’s decision will mean thousands of new jobs and the expansion of Mexico’s green economy,” celebrated Chancellor Ebrard at COP27.

The International Coalition

The current decisions about renewable energy in Mexico are a continuation of the agreements established with the United States and Canada at the North American Leaders’ Summit (NALS) held in 2021. The Mexican government committed to rolling out more than 30 additional gigawatts of combined wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectricity capacity by the year 2030, meeting the 40 GW the United States needs to add in its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Although this is not the only measure the U.S. is taking in matters of climate change.

The United States special presidential envoy for climate, John Kerry, recently met with the United Arab Emirates, a country that has joined the First Movers Coalition with the joint objective of “bolstering efforts to scale up key clean technologies, including in the context of the US-UAE Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy (PACE)”.

Related - Renewable Energy: Reconfiguring Dispossession in Latin America

This Coalition was announced by United States President Joe Biden in association with the World Economic Forum during COP26, assuring they are the driving force “for companies to harness their purchasing power and supply chains to create early markets for innovative clean energy technologies.”

Currently, the Coalition has more than 65 corporate members that have pledged a total of $12 billion to embed in the new production chains and the new renewable energy generation complexes.

The United Arab Emirates joins the government partners that already form part of this Coalition: Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Norway, Singapore, Sweden and the United Kingdom. All have committed to promoting the Coalition and accelerating the development of innovative low carbon emission technologies to a global scale.

Mexico plays an important role in the United States’ decisions when it comes to the creation of new renewable energy complexes. Ken Salazar has justified that “the commitment between our governments with clean energies and the energy transition benefits our nations and the planet.”

Related - European Union-Mercosur Trade Agreement: The Unequal Energy Transition

The United States ambassador used the example of the progress of United States company investments in Mexico. “You can see in Baja California, where Sempra Infrastructure (the Mexican subsidiary of Sempra Energy) will develop a wind farm with a 300 megawatt capacity and announced the signing of a 20-year purchase agreement to supply renewable energy to different locations in California.”

Ambassador Ken Salazar during his mission in the north of Mexico at the end of 2022 also highlighted the capital presence of multinational company Invenergy that “will invest $70 million in the Energy Center La Toba, Baja California, for a 40 megawatt (MW) solar plant.”

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