Developments of climate change legislation in Mexico

A statement by Dr. Thiemo Gropp, Director of the non-profit DESERTEC Foundation and Brian Schmidly, Regional Coordinator of the DESERTEC Foundation in Mexico:

The DESERTEC Foundation welcomes the recent developments in Mexico regarding the passage of a comprehensive law on climate change through its Chamber of Deputies and its Senate, clearing the way for President Felipe Calderon to sign it into law.

We consider this to be a landmark piece of legislation in Latin America and the world. Once it is signed, Mexico will join the United Kingdom as one of only two countries to pass a comprehensive national bill to address climate change. It is also a significant enough piece of legislation to propel Mexico to the forefront of the Latin American fight against climate change.

What makes this legislation so extraordinary, too, is that it passed with broad, multi-partisan support. In a country that is known more for fossil fuel exports than renewable energy installations, this is an exciting and hopeful time for the renewable energy and low carbon industries in Mexico.

In addition, we would be remiss not to mention the fact that Mexico – as it looks to cut its carbon emissions by 30% by 2020 and generate 35% of its electricity from clean sources by 2024 per the Chamber’s version of the bill – would be a perfect candidate to implement the DESERTEC Foundation’s vision of providing renewable energy from its deserts.

The DESERTEC vision of generating “Clean Energy from Deserts” combines climate protection and energy security with economic development and social progress. Within 6 hours, the deserts of the world receive more energy from the sun than humankind consumes within a year. With this type of energy abundance available, Mexico could not only meet its own energy needs from its sun-rich deserts, it could also create more jobs and earn export revenue by helping its neighbor to the north as well.