Latest News

Can Mexico's Sheinbaum, a climate researcher, shake Lopez Obrador's oil legacy?

Mexico's Presidentelect Claudia Sheinbaum, an accomplished climate scientist, might struggle to fulfill her environmental pledges after she cruised to success, in part, on the popularity of a predecessor who doubled down on fossil fuels.

Sheinbaum, chosen as Mexico's very first woman president by a. sweeping margin Sunday, inherits a country grappling daily with. climate change and ecological obstacles: pervasive dry spell,. a water crisis in the sprawling capital of Mexico City, and. widespread deforestation.

The 61-year-old leftist leader, who became part of a United. Countries panel of climate researchers that received a Nobel Peace. Prize in 2007, has spoken about her belief in an academic and. scientific method to politics. She campaigned on a pledge to. considerably increase renewable energy in the oil-producing. nation to as much as 50% by the end of her term in 2030.

However in spite of her best intentions to enhance Mexico's green. record, Sheinbaum's coach, the extremely popular outbound. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, invested billions propping. up Mexico's fossil fuel-dependent state energy giants, oil company. Pemex and power energy CFE.

Her frustrating victory - and the possible congressional. very bulk won by the judgment coalition - is in lots of methods a. referendum on Lopez Obrador's policies and initiatives, stated. Mariana Campero, senior connect with the CSIS Americas. Program.

Sheinbaum might be hard-pressed to break cadence with Lopez. Obrador's design at the danger of losing assistance, restricting her. ability to prioritize environment change policies.

She has stated repeatedly that she will continue with his. policies which her federal government will be an extension of his. government, said Campero. But she has always stated that green. energy is very important. So how will she square that circle?


Sheinbaum has credited her training by a chemical engineer. father and cellular biologist mother for fostering her interest. in science and politics. She has a doctorate in energy. engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.

As mayor of Mexico City, she set up a roof-top solar. job at a hectic main market and inaugurated a 100% electric. bus line.

However she dealt with criticism for some tasks, including the. building and construction of a bridge in the Xochimilco ecological zone that. community members said harmed wetlands. She also supports some. of Lopez Obrador's most controversial projects, consisting of the. Mayan Train, a tourist railway that activists and scientists. decry for endangering pristine wilderness and ancient cave. systems below the jungle flooring.

Still, her increase to the presidency has sustained hope among some. that she could turn things around for the nation's performance history. on environment modification policies, which weakened under Lopez. Obrador, according to the Climate Modification Performance Index,. mainly due to increased subsidies for fossil fuels and bad. development in curbing logging.

I definitely believe that she has that will and objective to. put Mexico back on net-zero targets and in the good graces of. the global community, Arthur Deakin, director of energy. at consultancy America's Market Intelligence.


Sheinbaum has pledged to enhance wind and solar power as part. of a $13.57 billion investment in brand-new energy generation. projects. She is, nevertheless, also facing the biggest budget. deficit in years, left behind by Lopez Obrador, a truth that. will require her to pick and choose how to devote spending.

Regardless of being the world's most indebted energy company,. Pemex is still a major contributor to state coffers, said. Alejandra Lopez, a public policy consultant who specializes in. energy problems.

The company is a heavy emitter of greenhouse gases, however it is. also a crucial nationwide sign of energy sovereignty for lots of. Mexicans, including Lopez Obrador.

Pemex stirs a sense of psychological, historical and. nostalgic value within the nation, Lopez said.

Sheinbaum is a vocal follower in the role of the state in. Mexico's energy sector, long dominated by Pemex, which could. make it tough to keep her promise to increase renewable energy.

A business-savvy approach might allow her to draw in. investment and spur realistic modification towards decarbonizing the. energy and transport sectors, Deakin said.

Sheinbaum might begin by increasing the limit for. Dispersed Generation (DG) projects, usually small. privately-funded solar or wind farms that are developed to provide. energy to a particular factory or industrial website.

Upping the cap from the existing 0.5 megawatts to 5. megawatts, like Brazil has done, might increase tidy. electrical power for business industrial users, Deakin said. She. could introduce biofuel policies and increase electrical vehicle. ( EV) aids and charging facilities. A nationwide carbon. credit framework might help speed up interest in low carbon. initiatives.

It's a little harder when you're struggling with a more. constrained budget plan, but there's other manner ins which emerging markets. have the ability to create a more attractive environment for sustainable. electrical energy, Deakin said.