Mexico offers support to the US to combat climate change

MEXICO CITY (AP) – President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced on Monday that Mexico will be an ally of the plan promoted by his American counterpart Joe Biden to face climate change at a time when the president is promoting an electricity reform in Congress that Environmentalists and opponents have rejected it, claiming that it will affect the renewable energy initiatives that have been carried out for several years in the country.

López Obrador made the announcement during a visit to the southern town of Palenque, Chiapas state, where he traveled with Biden’s special envoy for Climate Action, John Kerry, to show him the progress of his star program “Sembrando Vida”, to combat poverty in rural regions and climate change. The program has been promoted since 2018, when López Obrador assumed power, and has managed to grow 1,000 million fruit and timber trees and has employed more than 400,000 Mexicans with an investment of 1,300 million dollars.

“We are going to support the plan that President Biden is promoting, through Mr. Kerry, in what corresponds to our participation in the concert of nations and the experience of Mexico,” said the president when declaring himself an “ally” of the program. of the United States to face climate change.

The president took the opportunity to talk about the benefits of the “Sembrando Vida” program and assured that it can help to face the economic and social difficulties that originate migration. “It is not just holding back (migrants), much less betting on the coercive, the violation of human rights, but going to the origin of the problem and we can do it jointly with the United States government,” he added.

López Obrador has proposed to Biden that he finance an expansion of the “Sembrando Vida” program to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador as an alternative to contain the migratory flow of Central Americans to the United States.

The president also defended his energy policies and said that Mexico will no longer produce more than 2 million barrels a day and that it will modernize refineries to reduce pollution.

In September López Obrador sent to the Chamber of Deputies a draft constitutional reform in electricity matters that seeks to strengthen the state Federal Electricity Commission so that it controls 54% of the market, and limit the participation of private companies.

The initiative has been questioned by environmentalists, analysts and opponents who argue that the reform will affect the plans that some energy transition companies had advanced with the use of renewable energy in electricity generation.

For his part, Kerry was willing to work together with the Mexican authorities to face climate change and said that greater cooperation on this matter between Mexico, Canada and the United States can improve the lives of all citizens.

In defending the Biden administration’s plans on the energy transition, the former secretary of state affirmed that the large Mexican automotive industry will benefit from the switch to electric vehicles because there will be “very good work, with very good salaries.”

Biden has pledged that the United States will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 50% to 52% by 2030 below its 2005 emission levels.

Kerry’s visit to Mexico comes two weeks before the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26) to be held in Glasgow, United Kingdom, in which Washington will seek to strengthen alliances to face global warming.