US Climate Envoy Kerry Visits Mexico amid Energy Concerns
By KELIN DILLON
In the midst of controversies surrounding Mexico’s energy sector, U.S. Special Climate Envoy John Kerry visited the country on Wednesday, Feb. 9 to meet with Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Marcelo Ebrard and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) to discuss the two nations’ heavily intertwined environmental policies and pursuits.
Considering López Obrador’s pending initiative to give his country’s state-owned Federal Electricity Commission (CFE) priority access to the Mexican electricity grid ahead of foreign and private investment or clean energies, tensions have been climbing between the United States and Mexico surrounding the purported violations of the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement (USMCA), which bans favoritism toward government businesses, within AMLO’s reform.
“The government of the United States has repeatedly expressed concern over Mexico’s current proposal for the energy sector,” said the U.S. Embassy in Mexico ahead of Kerry’s visit. “Promoting the use of dirtier, antiquated and expensive technologies over efficient renewable alternatives would put consumers and the economy in general at a disadvantage.”
For his part, Kerry said that the United States would be “as helpful as we can be” to help Mexico expand its sustainability measures, including providing assistance with electric vehicles, promoting renewable energies and offering both financial and technological assistance to Mexico to help the country fall in line with global standards of environmental policy outlined by the Paris Agreement.
Given López Obrador’s previous statements that funding from the United States could help AMLO expand Mexico’s hydroelectric capacity, having said that “getting low-interest loans, at interest rates like they charge in the United States, that would be an investment in favor of the environment,” Kerry’s promises of financial aid could potentially offer a light at the end of the tunnel for the countries’ conflicting energy policies.
“Mexico can play a vital, extraordinary role in our efforts to combat the climate crisis,” Kerry went on to say.