Electricity reform could block the energy transition, claim young environmentalists

In the framework of COP26, young people from 22 environmental organizations in Mexico released a position on the constitutional reform initiative for the electricity sector called “For a clean and popular Energy Sovereignty that takes care of all of us.”

“This is a document that seeks to summarize the perspective on the initiative process of this constitutional reform,” said Alfonso Enrique Ramos Gómez, representative of Jóvenes por Nuestro Futuro, one of the associations leading the movement. He explains that the problem of being put into a law and now also proposing changes to the Constitution, is that an entire institutional scaffolding will be generated that would block the energy transition, “this seems very regrettable to us.”

From their point of view, this reform does not contribute to the issue of a just energy transition and they consider that time is running out, that it is urgent to take measures to combat climate change and reduce the emission of greenhouse gases (GHG). For this reason, they took the opportunity to deliver the document to the Mexican delegation and the authorities that represent us in Glasgow within the framework of COP26, “the idea is also to sit down at work tables and explain to them what our demands and concerns are about.”

These Mexican organizations will also join the group of international youth protests, they were already in the so-called Fridays for Future and each of the demonstrations that have taken place during the activities of this Conference. “The street is a place that everyone walks, that everyone sees, this is a symbolic way of being in a place where everyone has access and showing that this is something that concerns us all.”

Position regarding the electricity reform initiative

Alfonso defines the position of the groups on three fundamental questions. The first point is that it blocks the efforts of private and social initiative, “that is, not only transnational companies, if an ordinary citizen wants to place a solar panel in his house or a community in the mountains wants to generate its own energy, Based on the proposed modifications, it will not be possible, but rather cancels any generation permit, completely centralizing the industry in the CFE ”.

Another point is that it limits incentives, such as clean energy certificates and contracts derived from electricity auctions, “this makes it difficult to advance in the goals that the country has set to reduce GHG emissions because it simply stops providing facilities for electricity companies to people can bet on this path ”.

Finally, it puts society in general at serious risk, but specifically the youth, as it takes away the right to a future by entrusting the energy transition to the CFE. Metaphorically ‘puts the church in the hands of Luther’. Historically, this institution, in addition to being inefficient for using obsolete technologies, has not shown an interest in the energy transition, its main argument now is the issue of hydroelectric plants, which have a great proven environmental impact. They are not the best alternative, in addition their business plan and the constant statements of their managers show that it is not really one of their priorities ”.

We have to socialize the data

The representative of Jóvenes por Nuestro Futuro assures that this is part of a path traveled previously, since an injunction against the reform has already been filed. “For us all this has been a long learning process, the youth civil organizations that we joined probably have less experience, but what has characterized these groups is reviewing all the available information.”

They have concerned themselves with documenting each issue with reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), approaching experts such as IRENA, an international organization on renewable energy issues, and scientists, “we believe that the information it is available, it is only a matter of socializing it, making it available in simple terms, so that anyone can understand it ”.

Alfonso concludes that the idea is that when talking about the national electricity system it is not something that only an academic studies but something that people understand that it is going to affect them and in which they should be able to comment.

The false dilemma between protecting national sovereignty or benefiting the private sector should not be the priority in the debate to which the public and private elites want to subject us. The underlying issue has to be the guarantee and enforceability of the human right of Mexicans to a clean, healthy, safe, sustainable environment, and recently recognized by the UN Human Rights Council and the United Nations Program. For the enviroment.

“We want to emphasize that energy is an intrinsic right of all human beings. It cannot continue to be visualized under a centralist paradigm: the future of energy goes beyond a vision dominated by the State or by corporate groups ”, they argue.

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