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As Host of Climate Talks, Mexico Faces Domestic Energy Paradox

Mexico champions climate solutions but is also expanding its oil industry and car ownership

By Maria Gallucci

Nov 4, 2010

Ampugnani of Greenpeace México added that a second paradox appears in Mexico’s automotive manufacturing industry: As the government develops sustainable mass transit systems, such as the system in Mexico City, it also encourages individual car use.

Last June, President Felipe Calderón announced that the government would gradually lift an annual federal holding tax on new cars costing up to $19,700 in an effort to stimulate the industry after car sales fell 26.4 percent in 2009 as a result of the economic recession.

Mexico’s transport sector, which includes 20 million automobiles, generates 20 percent of the country’s GHG emissions, according to Greenpeace.

“It’s completely contradictory to what the government wants to do with climate change,” Ampugnani said. “What lifting the tax will do is that the government is going to facilitate buying new cars….You can’t say a country is going to [simultaneously] reduce its GHG emissions and encourage the use of automobiles.”

He added that the COP16 meeting in Cancún, which runs from Nov. 29 to Dec. 10, would give Mexico the chance to iron out a resolution for this complex energy situation.

“It’s a great moment for President Calderón to say that Mexico is going to revise its plans for the energy sector and lower the nation’s fossil fuel consumption. Mexico must change its vision for the energy sector,” he said.

See Also:

Mexico City Gives 2010 Summit a Front Row Seat to the Climate Crisis

Bringing Sustainable Transportation to the World

Climate Policy Experts Not Optimistic About a Binding Agreement This Year — or Next

Confusion About Copenhagen Accord Casts Cloud Over UN Climate Treaty

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