During the second month of 2021 we have maintained our work defending the right to a healthy environment. Here we tell you about some of our relevant activities.
In the context of USCMA, the Mexican government must explain the high mortality of loggerhead turtles.
Mexican authorities have until April 2021 to give an official response to the Secretariat of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) for the deaths of hundreds of loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) in the coasts of the Ulloa Gulf in Baja California Sur.
Official data shows that more than 1200 loggerhead turtles have died in the last three years, which proofs that the Mexican government is not applying the legal instruments for the protection of the species.
In the context of the provisions of the free trade agreement between Mexico, the United States, and Canada (USCMA), the Mexican Center of Environmental Law (CEMDA) alongside the Center for Biological Diversity filed a citizen petition on the matter to the CEC.
“This is a great step to make the Mexican government accountable for not protecting the loggerhead turtles,” said Alejandro Olivera, scientist and representative in Mexico from the Center for Biological Diversity. “A great number of these endangered animals have died in the last years by getting caught in fishing nets. Under the new trilateral commercial agreement, Mexican officials have the legal obligations of explaining why they have not acted to stop these deaths.”
“It is undeniable that the lack of application of the environmental legislation of the Mexican government is causing the high mortality of the loggerhead turtle in the North Pacific. It is paramount that the Mexican authorities answer about their inactivity in the face of the historical calls that have been made for the application of the law in favor of protected species in this region,” stated Mario Sánchez, representative of CEMDA in the Northwest.
The increase in fossil fuel usage in electricity generation raises the social, environmental, and human rights risk: NGO
The blackouts that occurred in the country in the last few days, caused by an atypical cold front that froze the gas producing plants in Texas (from which the gas is imported to Mexico), are a clear example of two problems that are very serious for our country: a fragile electrical system, which depends on fossil fuels to satisfy energy demand, and our high vulnerability in the face of climate change, which threatens basic rights such as the right to life, living place, health, and a healthy environment.
These two problems are connected due to the fact that burning fossil fuels for energetic usage (like carbon, oil, and gas) is one of the principal causes of Greenhouse Effect Emissions and of short-lived climatic pollutants which in turn are responsible for climate change.
Paradoxically, the Mexican Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) announced new combined cycle gas plants to supply the lack of gas which used car power and fuel oil. These kind of decisions add to the vicious circle responsible for climate change, which in turn causes phenomena like the one who left millions of people without electricity, and exposed many thousands more to the pollutants of thermoelectric plants.
As a civil society, we propose the diversification of the energy matrix to increase the penetration of renewable energies at different scales, so as to give priority to distributed generation, which helps to democratize energy, alleviate energy poverty, as well as paying for the security of the population’s electricity supply in a way that respects the rights of the communities. Moreover, we are convinced that strengthening the National Electrical System is necessary for it to be resilient to the onslaught of climate change given that right now, said system is extremely fragile, as the blackout has shown.
WEBINAR: The lack of climatic ambition at Mexico’s NDC, an analysis from the energy sector.
On December 12th, 2020, the Fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement was celebrated –derived from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)– which established the global goal of stabilizing Greenhouse Gas emissions to avoid a 2 ºC rise in planetary temperature.
In the national context, the Inter-secretarial Commission on Climate Change (CICC) gathered last December 14th to approve the new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the Special Climate Change Program, the latter with a years delay. To the alarm of several civil organizations, and to the disappointment of the international community, Mexico did not announced new goals nor ambitions to reduce greenhouse emission. Instead, it “reaffirm” the same goals established 5 years ago, that is, to reduce 22% GHGs y 51% of black carbon.
This shows the lack of commitment Mexico has in the face of the current climate emergency given the country’s responsibility as one of the major emitters of greenhouse gases. It also represents an enormous setback regarding climate change since it violates the principle of progressivity stipulated in the Paris Agreement which was also recognized in our constitutional framework, and is the reason for which precisely the revision cycles of the NDCs, taking place every 5 years, were created in the first place. In addition, this is a clear violation of the existent legal framework at the national level; specifically, the General Law of Climate Change (LGCC).
On February 10th we held a webinar in which we thoroughly analyzed the lack of ambition at the Mexico’s NDC in regard to the mitigation component of the energy and transportation sector, at the same time that specialists will identify areas of opportunity for our country to overcome the lag in which it is in terms of meeting its international commitments to reduce emissions.
Watcht the complete Webinar: