Mexico releases 'ambitious' renewable energy targets to tackle climate change

Mexico releases ‘ambitious’ renewable energy targets to tackle climate change

US climate envoy John Kerry and Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard hold a press conference during the COP27 climate conference in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images)

Mexico on Monday announced plans to dramatically increase the amount of electricity it generates from renewable energy sources, deploying more than 30 gigawatts of additional annual power generation from wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower by 2030.

The new clean energy targets were made public at a press conference during the United Nations climate change conference, known as COP27, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. By the end of the decade, Mexico aims to generate more than 40 gigawatts of electricity from wind and solar power alone.

In 2019, Mexico had 80 gigawatts of installed power generation capacity, according to the US Energy Information Administration. The majority of this comes from natural gas, while renewables make up 10% and hydropower 7%, so the new target would represent a major shift to a largely renewable energy portfolio if the country is successful in reaching its new target. objective.

John Kerry, the US presidential special envoy for climate change, joined Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard at Monday’s press conference.

The US President's Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, speaks at the COP27 climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

The US President’s Special Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, speaks at the COP27 climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

“Secretary Kerry has indicated support for Mexico’s new renewable energy goal, and the United States intends to work closely with Mexico to achieve these ambitious goals, including through U.S. efforts. to mobilize financial support and joint efforts to catalyze and incentivize investments in Mexico’s new renewable energy deployment and transmission,” the U.S. Embassy in Mexico reported.

Mexico is the world’s 13th largest emitter of greenhouse gases. It is one of the few countries to update its emissions reduction plan at COP27, pledging to reduce emissions by 35% below normal levels by 2030. renewables aim to help achieve this goal. Mexico also said it plans to double its clean energy spending by 2030, protect more of its forests, increase the use of electric vehicles and reduce methane emissions from its oil drilling sectors. and gas.

“This is a huge and significant change from last year in Glasgow,” Kerry told reporters on Saturday, in response to Mexico’s new emissions reduction pledge and in reference to the latest conference on climate change, COP26, in Glasgow, Scotland. Kerry added that he had negotiated extensively with his Mexican counterparts and said Mexico had “an extraordinary availability of sunshine, an extraordinary availability of wind power.”

Earlier Monday, the United States and China achieved a diplomatic breakthrough when President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to relaunch stalled climate change negotiations.

The sun sets behind the sign displaying the COP27 climate conference logo at the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The sun sets behind the sign displaying the COP27 climate conference logo at the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images)

Kerry has worked to persuade major developing countries to take further steps to decarbonize their economies and to offer assistance to do so. Last week, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States and European Union countries pledged to jointly mobilize $8.5 billion to fund the deployment of vehicles in South Africa. electricity and clean energy and a new low-carbon energy source called “green hydrogen”. ‘” Indonesia on Monday announced a planned withdrawal of a coal-fired power plant with the help of the Asian Development Bank, and it is expected to announce a plan similar to South Africa’s on Tuesday.

Yet COP27 is not expected to produce significant changes in the trajectory of global emissions, as the largest emitters, such as the United States and China, have not reduced their projected emissions this decade. But on Monday, in what climate change activists see as a sign of potential progress, President Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that the two countries will put aside their differences over tense issues such as the fate of Taiwan and will try to work together on climate change. .

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