Mexico: what is going on with the Paris Agreement?

The big companies in the world are one of the main enemies of the environment because of the amount of gas emissions left by their factories.

PEMEX brand price board.

PEMEX brand price board. / Photo: REUTERS

LatinAmerican Post | Juliana Suárez

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Leer en español: México: ¿Dónde queda el Acuerdo de París?

Despite global attempts, such as the Paris Agreement, many companies are not yet aware of its effects on climate change. Among them, oil companies predominate, the majority in state quality.

The British newspaper The Guardian published an investigation that highlights the 20 companies responsible for a third of CO2 emissions globally. The media has committed itself to the environmental cause and has ensured that “their independence means that they can interrogate those in power for their inaction” regarding the issue. The worrying thing is that many are state corporations, even when many countries say they are committed to environmental causes.

The research states that “Michael Mann, one of the scientists leading the climate research, said the results show a light on the role of fossil fuel companies and called on politicians to at the next summit on the subject in Chile in December, urgent measures are taken to curb harmful activities”. "Michael Mann, one of the world's leading climate scientists, said the findings shone a light on the role of fossil fuel companies and called on politicians at the forthcoming climate talks in Chile in December to take urgent measures to rein in their activities".

Latin America has not lagged behind in this list of companies revealed by the British newspaper and among them are the Mexican oil company, Pemex, Petróleos de Venezuela (PDVSA) and Petrobras.

Read also: 3 young Latin Americans fight for the environment

The case of Mexico attracts attention because Pemex is the most polluting company in Latin America, contributing 1.67% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the world. The contradictory thing is also that the AMLO government ratified the Paris Agreement less than a year ago, in December 2018, which implies that the country should be more committed to reducing its environmental footprint.

While talking about a fight against climate change in the Paris Agreement, the Mexican government is developing one of its most ambitious six-year plans with the Dos Bocas refinery. While AMLO has called it a “transformation” of Pemex and Mexico, organizations such as the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CMDA, in Spanish) have ensured that the pollution produced by the project is such that it could exceed the emissions stipulated in the Agreement on Paris.

The Dos Bocas plan also runs counter to the General Climate Change Law of 2012. In this one, “the Government of Mexico committed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020, and by 50% by 2050, with respect to the emissions of 2000 ”, according to Expok News, portal of corporate social responsibility of Cemex.

According to a 2018 Mexican government report, the gas that most emits from Mexico is carbon dioxide with 71% of emissions and then methane with 21%. “Of the total emissions, 64% corresponded to the consumption of fossil fuels; 10% originated from livestock production systems; 8% came from industrial processes; 7% were issued for waste management; 6% for fugitive emissions from oil, gas and mining extraction and 5% were generated by agricultural activities”, says the government statement.

Also read: How aerosols affect our climate

But the Paris Agreement is not the only one in which Mexico is beginning to crack, since in September many of the oil companies listed in the same report issued by The Guardian signed a document during the UN Climate Summit. In this, those responsible for the largest amount of harmful emissions to the environment promised to double the amount of carbon dioxide stored in the subsoil to prevent their emission into the atmosphere.

Although companies such as Chevron, Saudí Aramco and Petrobras among others were also included in the list, Pemex did not enter the list of the 12 companies involved.

According to EFE, the Mexican government pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22% by 2030, the same year that the oil companies pledged to double carbon dioxide storage. For this, Mexico "must go from generating 973 million tons of CO2 annually to 762 million tons of that gas, which would represent a reduction of 211 million tons."

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