Towards a sustainable legal framework for Mexico
Mexico is preparing to pass an Energy Reform bill, which will be one of the greatest determinants of the country’s economic and environmental future. Environmentalists and non-governmental organizations, including EMBARQ Mexico, have drafted the secondary legislation (also known as delegated legislation) that will provide Mexico with the legal framework and implementation guidelines to make its goals for a sustainable energy future a reality.
A long road to reform
Before creating the secondary legislation for the Energy Reform proposal, the Group on Climate Change Financing in Mexico, the Center for Mexican Environmental Law (CEMDA), Greenpeace Mexico, the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP), and EMBARQ Mexico all convened in Mexico City to present their positions and proposals arising from their diverse experience in labor, research, and government.
As the Energy Reform bill will have widespread effects for both human rights and the environment in Mexico, these organizations urged the Mexican government to include three key aspects: first, that the policies presented in the bill will have the necessary resources for implementation, and that funds will be obtained to finance sustainable projects that will have multiple social benefits. Second, that there will be the most possible coordination among the three levels of government to ensure swift scaling of renewable energy solutions. Finally, the organizations called for the reevaluation of current climate change and pollution policies, and the resulting creation of monitoring and evaluation measures that incorporate both externalities and benefits of projects in the energy sector. Creating strong secondary legislation will be necessary for sustainability projects to be swiftly and effectively implemented.
These organizations expounded on the fact that recent energy reforms have yet to create a structural change in the modes of consumption and production in Mexico. A thorough analysis of the energy sector is necessary to understand all of the possible consumption and production scenarios, taking into account not simply the technologies available, but the impact on health, environment, and society. Such information is essential for the government, together with non-governmental actors, to develop energy policies that will positively impact all sectors of the economy and society.
In her presentation, Lillian Sol, the coordinator of Air Quality and Climate Change for EMBARQ Mexico, emphasized that the country must meet its targets for reducing GHG emissions through the General Law on Climate Change (LGCC) and maximum fossil fuel usage in electricity generation, as established by the Law on the Use of Renewable Energy and Energy Transition Financing (LAERFTE). To this end, Sol hopes that the secondary laws can bring about the effective changes that the law already prescribes. Should Mexico be successful, it would see a 30% reduction of GHG emissions by 2020, and a 50% reduction by 2050. The maximum use of fossil fuels in electricity generation would gradually decrease, falling to 65% in 2024, 60% in 2035 and 50% in 2050.
To achieve these goals it is necessary to both diversify energy alternatives to allow faster development of alternative energy sources as well as reduce energy demand in sectors such as housing, industry and transport. As part of this search for an appropriate transition to renewable energy sources, EMBARQ Mexico will continue to provide its expertise and insight to help Mexico become more equitable, environmentally conscious, and energy independent.