On the heels of its recently concluded year-long presidency of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP16), Mexico is soldiering on with its sustainability policy blitz. In late November, the Federal Regulatory Improvement Commission (Cofemer) issued its approval of proposed new regulations under which independent entities generating power from renewable sources may connect to the national electricity grid. Last year, we reported with great satisfaction that the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) had created a contract that allowed independent producers of energy for their own consumption to connect to the grid via a net metering system. The new regulatory document, under the nimble title “General Rules of Interconnection to the National Electric System for Generators or Permit-holders with Renewable Energy Sources or Efficient Cogeneration,” is intended to streamline the process and lower the overall cost of grid integration for independent producers. The administrative, legal and technical requirements, formerly distributed among various prior documents published by different agencies, will now be incorporated into the single regulatory document. The Energy Ministry (Sener) may now publish the new regulations in the Official Gazette, with the hope that facilitating the process will hasten the contribution of new and more environmentally friendly generating plants to the country’s energy supply. If you feel you must, you can read the Cofemer’s final opinion on the new regulations here (oh go on, we did). Read the rest of this entry »
Posts Tagged Sustainability
As Mexico’s year-long presidency of the 16th edition of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP16) drew to a close, ProMéxico hosted the Green Solutions conference and exposition November 23 – 25, 2011 in Mexico City. The event consisted principally of three days of panel discussions on public policy related to climate change, amidst an exposition area featuring innovative products and services aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and overall depletion the world’s natural resources. The first edition of the Green Solutions conference took place during the COP16 international conference held in Cancun one year ago.
The conference provided an excellent opportunity for those involved or interested in climate change mitigation to exchange perspectives on the outlook for greenhouse gas reduction and learn about projects and initiatives taking place in various parts of the world. With the COP17 conference kicking off in Durban, South Africa today, at the forefront of discussion is the question of what will happen once the Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012. The agreement currently establishes ostensibly binding greenhouse gas reduction targets for participating developed nations, and key signatories such as Japan, Russia and Canada are showing little enthusiasm for re-upping once the current period concludes. Read the rest of this entry »
Mexico’s construction industry is currently in a growth period, but the past three years have been difficult for the sector. By August of 2010 the industry had posted 24 straight months of contraction. As the U.S. economy rebounded in 2010 and investment plans in Mexico were gradually reactivated, construction returned to growth in August 2010 and registered robust expansion through December, balancing out at en even 0.0% growth for the year. After a strong January, the rate of growth has slipped through the first half, most recently posting a tepid but nonetheless somewhat improved 2.4% annual rate in May. The National Statistics Institute (INEGI), however, reported overall growth of 4.6% in June 2011 with respect to the previous year, resulting in increased demand for inputs such as electrical materials, paints and coatings, cement, metallic structures, sand and gravel, asphalt, concrete and other steel and iron materials. Read the rest of this entry »
On July 26, 2011, Mexico City’s Department of the Environment (SMADF) published new guidelines for the production and consumption of plastic products in the city. The guidelines are scheduled to enter into effect in July 2012 in order to provide affected parties time to prepare for compliance. The legislation’s lengthy official title could probably be reduced to “the plastic bag law,” as it serves largely as the next step in the ongoing process of trying to figure out how to reduce the volume and degradation time of all the plastic bags discarded daily in the vast metropolis. The new guidelines were eagerly awaited — so eagerly, in fact, that members of three opposition parties in the city’s legislative assembly (ALDF) called for Environment Secretary Martha Delgado’s removal over the delay.
Any Mexico City resident can tell you that local grocery store baggers are generous to a fault with the plastic bags. Most of these grocery bags go right in the trash once the purchases are put away at home, contributing to the more than 1,000 tons of plastic garbage the city produces daily. With the municipal dumps overflowing, in 2009 the city government formed a working group of plastics producers, retailers, academics and other specialists to develop policy recommendations for reducing the volume of plastic bags flowing into the landfills. But for the city fathers, the plastic bag problem has turned out to be rather like Borges’ aleph: the closer they look at it, the larger and more complex it becomes. Read the rest of this entry »
The Secretaría de Energía’s lofty proposed goal that 25% of Mexico’s installed electricity generation capacity be provided by renewable energy sources by the end of 2012 looks to be just a touch out of reach. But unachieved goals notwithstanding, there is no question that topics related to renewable energy and clean technology in general are enjoying unprecedented levels of attention right now. The surge of interest in bio-ethanol a couple years ago not only fanned the flames of the local food vs. fuel debate but also stimulated the proposal or development of a number of experimental bio-fuel projects in Mexico. The initial frenzy over bio-fuel seems to have cooled somewhat since 2007, fortunately, but interest in well grounded projects and the potential for alternative fuel production in the country remains. This week three events are being held at the María Isabel Sheraton here in Mexico City: Carbon Markets Mexico & Central America, Biofuels Markets Mexico and Central America, and Jatropha Markets Americas, information on which can be found at www.greenpowerconferences.com .
Other upcoming events related to sustainability topics include:
V Congreso Internacional de Transporte Sustentable
October 12 – 14, 2009, World Trade Center, Mexico City
XVI Border Energy Forum
October 15 – 16, 2009, Houston, Texas
Tercer Congreso Nacional de Suelo Urbano
October 28 – 30, 2009, Mérida, Yucatán
1er Congreso Internacional sobre Ciudades Sustentables
October 25 – 26, 2009, Morelia, Michoacán