Traditionally, sustainability has been a seldom-used word, but lately it seems to be on the mind of every decision maker in the country. Mexico is growing rapidly in many ways. Mexico City‘s water reserves were depleted years ago, meaning that it now draws all of its drinking water from aquifers that are located miles away in Hidalgo and the state of Mexico. So how will we provide electricity, water, and housing to people in the future with such limited resources? The government is working quickly to create new programs, regulations and ways to attract more investment for the development of alternative resources for the future.

“The environmentally committed companies are doing better and have grown 10% in market value above others,” said former Mexican President, Felipe Calderón in this year’s International City and Transport Congress. As the head of the Global Commission on Economy and Climate and of the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FDS), Calderón’s dedication to creating more sustainable businesses and infrastructures in Mexico is evident. He asserts that sustainability is the key to economic prosperity; European countries that have reduced their emissions significantly have seen more rapid growth in their economies than those who have neglected to make sustainability a priority.

Throughout the year, Peña Nieto has worked with various government agencies to promote the building of sustainable infrastructure, the usage of renewable energy sources, and the creation of stronger sustainable regulations in the country. Citizen involvement in government, congress and business is crucial in order to have a greater impact on the future of the country.

Mexico is developing new strategies conducive to reaching their 2030 goal of reducing gas emissions by 25%. To make this goal a reality, Calderón believes that the Energy Reform should be more specific regarding the usage of clean energies. He declares that problems that arise as a result of the environment, transportation, and health in large cities generate costs amounting to 4% of the nation’s GDP, yet studies show Mexico could supply the electricity of all households, services and industries with renewable energy alone generated in the Sonora Desert. Although it is plausible, it is not recommended because it would create a dangerous dependency. For instance, Verónica Irastorza, Principal at Nera Economic Consulting, does not believe it is a good idea to rely solely on one energy source. “We have seen the experiences of countries like Brazil, where there are large hydro developments. The overreliance on hydro led to serious problems, highlighting the need for a diverse portfolio.” Similarly, Gabriel Quadri, Director General of Enerclima, points out that even if power generation was possible with renewables exclusively, it would be extremely expensive for a number of technical reasons, such as the use of specialized intelligent grids. Regardless, most opinions favor the incorporation of a large portion of renewables in the country’s energy matrix.

To conclude his presentation, Calderón urged to conciliate economic development with sustainability in order to successfully fight climate change.  “We need to define an economic model. The paradox is that not only do we need to address the risks of climate change in the future, but we must also attain new speeds to kick start the world’s economy.”

With information from : El Universal, Excelsor

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