September 23, 2020

Mexican Nobel Prize winner considers setback praise fossil fuels



The Mexican Nobel Prize winner Mario Molina considered Thursday as a setback that the Government of his country returns to the use of fossil fuels as part of its new electricity policy that limits the generation of renewable energy.

In addition, he stated that it is necessary to transform the Mexican economy into a low carbon one, something that the country will have to do sooner or later.

“Going back is going back to fossil energy, which is already agreed by society that this is temporary and we cannot stop them overnight because that would be very expensive, but we have to stop using them,” said Molina. in a press video conference.

“It is imperative to have a transition to cleaner energy,” added the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995.

The scientist explained that “the sooner we do it, the cheaper it will be” and will bring more benefits to society and ecosystems

At the beginning of the conference, Molina explained that Mexico has historically been “an oil-producing country, whose economy has been based enormously on this resource”, so the transition towards energy such as wind, solar or nuclear, “should be accelerated and complement with the economic realities of the country. “

MAKING ACCOUNTS

The researcher recalled that in November 2019 the Office of the President of Mexico issued a document titled “Doing Accounts. Quantifying the co-benefits of climate action for sustainable development in Mexico.”

The study quantifies and offers concrete evidence of the co-benefits that can be obtained by implementing the climate agenda in coordination with the sustainable development agenda in Mexico.

That document, he pointed out, focuses on five axes: electricity generation with clean sources, forest protection, wastewater treatment, promotion of electric vehicles and the development of the industry with greater energy efficiency.

Regarding electricity generation, he cited that reaching a 43% share of sources other than fossil fuels by 2030, as promised under the Paris Agreement, “not only reduces the emission of greenhouse gases, but which brings additional benefits in terms of public health, job creation and energy security in the country. “

BENEFITS

Molina affirmed that, if Mexico meets clean energy commitments by 2030, it will avoid the emission of 370 million tons of CO2, equivalent to 15% of the total reduction required.

And, he asserted, he will not incur associated $ 2.7 billion in social costs by avoiding some 1,600 premature deaths.

In addition, it will increase employment in the electricity sector by 38% and improve energy security by 17% due to the reduction in total fuel consumption.

To fulfill the commitments, it considered necessary complementary actions such as expanding and modernizing transmission networks to avoid bottlenecks and developing energy storage systems for intermittent sustainable sources.

The scientist explained that the recent energy debate “denotes the enormous challenges we have as a society in this sector”, so there is an urgent need to reconcile the various interests and realities between private industry and the government in favor of collective socio-environmental well-being.

This Thursday, the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, once again defended the recent changes in energy matters that place limits on renewables and individuals.

On May 1, an agreement of the National Center for Energy Control (Cenace) entered into force that limited the generation of renewable energies and prohibited the emission in tests of clean plants that were about to start, a decision that has already unleashed a legal battle .

Along these same lines, two weeks later, the Ministry of Energy established a change in the dispatch criteria, cornering the economic criterion with a new one of “reliability” that created confusion in the sector.

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