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Opinion | Can Mexico Run on Clean Energy?

Can Mexico Run on Clean Energy?

Its new president can help his country and the world by tackling climate change through sustainable development.

Mexican voters elected Andrés Manuel López Obrador president on July 1 largely based on his promises to solve the country’s most devastating domestic problems: rampant violence, economic inequality and widespread corruption. Mr. López Obrador, however, also has the chance to catapult his country into a leadership role on an issue that will benefit both Mexico and the rest of the globe: climate change.

Specifically, the president-elect can capitalize on Mexico’s huge potential for renewable energy. But while he has made promising proposals for expanding renewables, he will confront several obstacles.

Renewable energy accounts for less than a quarter of Mexico’s installed power capacity, well below the Latin American average of about 50 percent; most electricity is generated from oil, coal and natural gas. Expanding renewable energy would not only cut Mexico’s greenhouse gas emissions, but also reduce air pollution and diversify fuel sources, strengthening energy security. Mexico’s wind potential is more than eight times its current level of installed wind capacity. It has among the largest solar resources in the world — 75 times the country’s current total installed capacity.

Mr. López Obrador has announced ambitious plans to increase renewable power generation from both large-scale projects, such as hydroelectric dams, and small energy systems, like solar rooftops for residences and businesses, in a bid to cut natural gas imports from the United States. He’s vowed to encourage local industries to produce parts for renewable energy plants through tax incentives and access to credit. And by the end of his six-year term he wants to see 100,000 electric cars on Mexican streets powered by solar energy. Over the course of his presidency, his proposals are estimated to reduce Mexico’s emissions by 6.8 percent per year.

These are the right areas of focus to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy in Mexico, one of the planet’s top 15 emitters. With the right policies, Mr. López Obrador could make Mexico the Western Hemisphere’s leader in sustainable development, an opportunity declined by its northern neighbor when it withdrew from the Paris climate accord.

To do so, the new government should build on the energy reform that President Enrique Peña Nieto signed into law in 2013. That law created important incentives to increase renewable energy, including opening the power sector to private investment and creating clean energy certificates, which power distributors must acquire to meet quotas. Encouraged by this initiative, private companies bidding for contracts in Mexico’s post-reform renewable power auctions have offered some of the lowest electricity prices in the world. In 2015, Mexico was among the top 10 destinations in the world for new clean energy investment.

Renewable energy developers still face hurdles, though. Mexico’s electricity infrastructure is decrepit. Aging transmission lines mean more electricity is lost during transport and distribution than in high-income countries. Mexico’s new government should hold auctions to award transmission and distribution projects to private companies and improve energy-system planning to integrate more variable energy sources (wind and solar) alongside firm energy sources (like natural gas or hydropower).

While wind and solar prices in Mexico’s recent auctions have hit record lows, other promising renewable energy technologies, such as geothermal, still cannot compete with fossil fuel sources. As renewable energy markets expand, bottlenecks in the local production of equipment and services could  hinder competitiveness. To ensure renewables are competitive, the government should provide more incentives for emerging technologies as well as support for local equipment and service providers.

Energy projects in Mexico also often face resistance from local communities. Much of the land is collectively owned, meaning developers must consult with dozens or even hundreds of people before beginning a project. This process often leads to long, expensive legal battles.

In January, Mexico’s Supreme Court ordered that a wind project in Oaxaca — a state that is home to most of the country’s wind projects and is 75 percent collectively owned — be halted because of insufficient consultation with indigenous Zapotecs. The government should clarify the consultation process, take a stronger role in mediation and encourage projects in which local communities share ownership, benefit from the energy produced and are incorporated into the supply chain.

On election night, Mr. López Obrador confessed his ambition to “go down in history as a good Mexican president.” On the world stage, he surely would be remembered for transforming Mexico’s energy matrix and setting an example for the transition to clean energy. While Mr. López Obrador has a full slate of problems to tackle when he takes office on Dec. 1, encouraging clean energy must be a priority. Both Mexicans and the international community will thank him.

 

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Mexico vows it won’t cut a separate trade deal with Trump

Officials reassure Canadian visitors they are not looking at a bilateral alternative to NAFTA

 

 

 

 

 

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, left, and Mexico’s President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pose for a photo at Lopez Obrador’s campaign headquarters, in Mexico City, Wednesday, July 25, 2018. (Press Office of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador/The Associated Press)

Mexican officials went out of their way yesterday to tell their Canadian counterparts not to read anything into the fact that their trade negotiators and the Americans are meeting bilaterally in Washington on Friday — that the new government in Mexico City isn’t planning to cut a separate deal with the U.S. outside of NAFTA.

“The fact that this time we’re going to Washington for a bilateral is just a sequence of things,” said Mexico’s Secretary of the Economy Ildefonso Guajardo, who handles the NAFTA file. He added that the Canadian and American negotiating teams also often hold two-way talks, and Friday’s bilateral isn’t an indication that Canada could be left out in the cold.

“It’s just a method, not a direction,” Guajardo continued. “We’re not moving in the direction of a bilateral agreement. We still want a trilateral NAFTA.”

In a joint news conference with his Canadian counterpart Chrystia Freeland yesterday, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray insisted that “we will be closing ranks with Canada … For us, NAFTA is a trilateral agreement.”

The statement came in response to speculation prompted by a series of public claims by U.S. President Donald Trump that the U.S. and Mexico would make a separate two-way trade deal to replace NAFTA.

Trump seemed to reference those claims yesterday as he met with the EU’s Jean-Claude Juncker in the White House, when he remarked that “we’re doing very well with Mexico.”

Mexican officials maintain that any negotiations on a two-way trade deal between Mexico and the U.S. remain a figment of the U.S. president’s imagination.

A Mexican government official speaking on background to CBC said his government was frustrated by the fact that stories giving credence to those claims had circulated in Canadian media.

“I don’t know how it even got started,” he said, adding that the Mexican government had given no such signals.

 

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Why Mexico’s New President Is Nothing Like Trump

The U.S. media got the historic election of Andrés Manuel López Obrador all wrong

When the polls closed in Mexico’s presidential election Sunday evening, the winner by a landslide was Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a socialist reformer and unabashed champion of the working class. It’s a hugely significant urn of events. Since 2000, Mexico has been governed by pro-business technocrats, responsible centrists with economics degrees from Harvard and Yale, leaders with credibility in Washington, reliable partners in free trade and the war on drugs. For the Mexican people the results have been a colossal, gruesome disaster, but it was rare to read anything critical of former presidents Vicente Fox, Felipe Calderón or Enrique Peña Nieto in the U.S. media. Now all of a sudden the American commentariat are furrowing their brows and wringing their hands, deeply concerned that things might go wrong for our southern neighbor.

The standard line is that López Obrador is a sort of Mexican Donald Trump. “Will Mexico Get Its Donald?” was the title of a recent opinion piece by New York Times columnist Bret Stephens. According to the Times’ other electionnight coverage, “The parallels between Mr. López Obrador and President Trump are hard to ignore.” No one belabored the comparison like The Los Angeles Times, which would have us believe that Trump and the Mexican president-elect are equally “anti-intellectual and xenophobic,” offering “unrealistic expectations” and stoking “fears of immigrants and outsiders,” while railing against elites. “These touchstones,” the article warned, “are clearly part of a Trump playbook.”

The comparison is ridiculous. López Obrador is nothing like Trump. The fretting in the press is a symptom of a political establishment so hopelessly committed to a failed free-market consensus that they can’t distinguish between a moderate democratic socialist and the incipient fascism of Trump’s insane clown posse. López Obrador has been a political figure in Mexico for most of his life, and played an active role in the country’s transition from one-party rule to a reasonably functional democracy. As mayor of Mexico City, he dealt with the nuts and bolts of managing the world’s largest metropolis in a largely apolitical manner, and left office with an 84 percent approval rating. He nearly won the presidency in 2006, and again in 2012, on a platform of putting the needs of the poor ahead of the rich, and denouncing government fraud.

To suggest that López Obrador engages in the same kind of scapegoating and xenophobia as Trump is to willfully miss the point of his campaign, which was laser-focused on the problem of corruption, a very real and debilitatingcancer on the Mexican body politic. He may be derisive of the likes of Ricardo Anaya, the runner-up in Sunday’s election, a highly educated lawyer whose airbrushed ads proposed solving Mexico’s problems with “the latest technology,” but that hardly makes López Obrador an anti-intellectual on par with Trump, a bragging rich kid from Queens whose entire career is based on playing a caricature of a big boss businessman on reality TV.

Possibly the most preposterous notion is that Trump and López Obrador share a similar temperament. López Obrador is an ordinary, reasonably decent man with a boring family life, a modest Mexican official who lives in a drab townhouse, drives an old car and walks the streets without a bodyguard – truly impressive given that 120-plus politicians were assassinated in Mexico in 2018. On the campaign trail, López Obrador promised to turn Mexico’s presidential palace into a public park, sell off the government’s fleet of presidential aircraft and cut the president’s salary in half. “We are going to get rid of the luxuries of government,” he said. The same day that Trump was inaugurated, he hung gold drapes in the Oval Office, and the faux opulence of his lifestyle can only be compared to some Jersey Shore version of Saddam Hussein, what with the golden toilets and porn stars and lascivious comments about his own daughter. But we’re told that both these men are self-aggrandizing egomaniacs. It makes no sense.

Then there’s the question of the Drug War, which hangs over everything in Mexico. It’s the deadliest conflict in the world aside from Syria, and it has to stop. Trump’s only suggestion is to hint at sending in U.S. troops – a truly moronic plan, given that some 200,000 people have died since the George W. Bush administration convinced the Mexican government to deploy its military to fight the cartels in the streets, and gave them the money and weapons to do it under the disastrous Mérida Initiative. López Obrador hardly has all the answers, but he’s at least willing to consider some combination of drug legalization and jobs programs in addition to military force. One of his campaign slogans was “Abrazos, no balazos,” or “Hugs, not gunshots.” Straight from the Trump playbook, right?

Buttonholing López Obrador as the flip side of the Trump coin is a predictable move. It’s the same thing much of the press did to Bernie Sanders, the only American political figure to whom López Obrador can fairly be compared. In fact, the resemblance between Sanders and López Obrador is striking. They both favor New Deal-style spending on education, health care and employment programs, and have to deal with detractors crying, “But how will we pay for it?” even though they never question far costlier programs that benefit corporations and the rich. Both Sanders and López Obrador have spent their entire careers railing against the influence of money in politics, and have risen to prominence solely on their appeal to working people, with no assistance from the media and elites. They even look the same: somewhat rumpled, white-haired old men who couldn’t care less about their personal appearance or the trappings of power and wealth.

The likes of Bret Stephens would have us see López Obrador in the context of a global wave of illiberal populism, of a piece with the rise of neo-nationalism in Britain, Italy, Hungary and Poland, as well as the United States. In reality, he belongs to a pro-labor tradition that’s largely been suppressed in this country, most recently in the hit job the Democrats pulled on Sanders in the 2016 election. Like López Obrador in Mexico, Sanders is far and away the most popular politician in the U.S., not on the strength of some Trump-like personality cult, but on his policy proposals, including free medical care for all, free or nearly-free higher education and jobs programs for the poor.

Conventional wisdom in American politics is that we just can’t afford these things, even though every other modern democracy somehow manages to. That’s beginning to change, though, as in recent Democratic primaries, like the nomination of the unapologetic Stacey Abrams in Georgia’s gubernatorial race, and the hurting Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put on company man Joseph Crowley in New York’s 14th Congressional District. Ocasio-Cortez self-identifies as a democratic socialist, and you can guess what happened after she won. It’s almost like these Washington pundits follow a flow chart.

As Mexico’s cartoonishly rich and corrupt elite found out on Sunday, the scare tactics only work for so long in the face of mounting anger over economic and social conditions that just get worse with every passing year. Fascism and socialism both arise from the failure of liberalism. That doesn’t make them equivalent.

 

 

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What you need to know

The following is taken from Mexperience.com

You need Mexico car insurance because it’s required and US /Canadian insurance coverage stops at the Mexican border. Every year Mexico implements stricter laws for uninsured motorists, meaning not having it can cost you money due to damage/loss to your vehicle, fines and more
When you drive your car to Mexico, travel with complete peace of mind, by being properly insured. Your U.S. or Canadian insurance policy, however comprehensive, won’t cover you in Mexico, but affordable insurance is available…

http://quote.mexpro.com/quote/?aff_id=9804&agtdst=&office_code=

Mexican Auto insurance You Can Trust if you ever get into an accident in Mexico

Insuring Your Car in Mexico
Although your U.S./Canadian car insurance policy may be comprehensive, and might also extend some limited damage coverage in Mexico, you will still need to purchase policy that is legally valid in Mexico.
U.S. and Canadian auto insurance policies, however comprehensive, hold no legal jurisdiction in Mexico. This means that you must buy separate insurance cover for your car while you’re driving in Mexico if you want to travel with complete peace of mind.

If you are driving your car improperly insured in Mexico and you become involved in an accident it will, at best, cost you a lot of money and, at worst, leave you imprisoned in a Mexican jail house. Presenting a U.S. or Canadian auto insurance policy will be of no use because these documents have no legal or actual force in Mexico, and the companies backing them will not settle any claim arising when you or your car are situated south of the border.
Drivers who are involved in serious accidents in Mexico are usually arrested pending investigation. If you are not properly insured in Mexico and become involved in a serious accident—even if it’s not your fault—these procedures will likely place a great deal of stress and financial burden upon you.
This guide explains how insurance works in Mexico and how to go about buying the additional insurance protection you need to ensure that you, your passengers, and your vehicle are properly insured when driving on Mexican soil and that, in the event of a serious accident, you are properly covered by a legally-valid and adequate insurance policy.
Mexican Auto Insurance
Mexican Law stipulates that only insurance companies which are licensed in Mexico can provide the type of auto insurance coverage that is recognized and accepted by Mexico’s legal system.
A few U.S.-based insurance companies will extend physical damage coverage on cars and RVs while they are situated in Mexico, but they cannot and do not provide Mexican liability insurance. So, although these policies may cover your damage, they will not cover your liability to others in Mexico. This is why a special insurance policy is absolutely necessary to be properly insured in Mexico.
Mexican Insurance Companies
Mexican Law also stipulates that liability insurance must be purchased from a licensed Mexican company, so your auto insurance policy necessarily needs to be issued by one of Mexico’s insurance companies, or through a broker in the U.S./Canada working in conjuction with a Mexican insurance company.
Who’s Insuring You?
Buyers purchasing insurance for their car in Mexico are often times misled by believing that they can rely on the broker, rather than the Mexican Insurance Company, to properly handle any claim that may arise during their stay in Mexico.
The insurance company underwriting your policy is much more important than the Broker that sells you the policy.
As all insurance policies are sold through brokers, it’s important to know which insurance company (or companies) are underwriting the policies being sold to you by the broker. Click here to read more  Click here to get your free quotes

 

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Dog Friendly Hotels in MexicoThis is a partial list of Dog Friendly Hotels that we have found on the web. They are unverified so if you find one that does not accept pets or who has changed its policy, please send us a note. Click here to read the entire list of hotels


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