National: Electricity Reform Approved in the Middle of Environmental and Human Rights Crises

@ Cuartoscuro

On February 2nd, the Senate of the Republic approved a reform initiative that seeks to add various provisions to the Electricity Industry Law, initiated by President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. For many, this decision could have important implications for human rights, access to services and the environment.

The electrical reform contemplates that the hydroelectric, nuclear, geothermal, combined cycle and thermoelectric plants of the CFE “would be the first to dispatch the energy they generate to the system”and to subsequently send energy from wind and solar plants. Although the federal government’s argument is to “strengthen” the Federal Electricity Commission and “bring order” to abuses by private companies, for others it limits competition and excludes the generation of cleaner energy.

In this sense, organizations such as the Citizen Observatory of Air Quality, including the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA), Greenpeace Mexico, WWF and others, said that “renewable energies, far from putting the national electricity system at risk, can build a more resilient, fair and accessible system” in addition to helping Mexico achieve its climate goals.

On the other hand, the Center for Analysis and Research (FUNDAR) said that “it is essential that the State regain control of the sector and stop the wave of privatization of renewables”, which has come hand in hand with the proliferation of large energy megaprojects in indigenous territories, such as the “Eolica del Sur”, in regions such as the Isthmus of Tehuantepec or the Yucatan Peninsula and that systematically violate the collective rights of the communities. However, it considered that the “rescue of energy sovereignty” “should not be exhausted in the deepening of a fossil extractivist model that uses gas, oil and coal for the generation of electricity, causing severe socio-environmental impacts”especially in a context of climate crisis.

In addition, it is important to remember that the defense of territory against electrical megaprojects, largely belonging to CFE, has been marked by the murder of activists and defenders, as is the case of Fidel Heras, murdered in January in Oaxaca for opposing a hydroelectric dam.

For more information in Spanish:

OSC advierten más pobreza energética por reforma a Industria Eléctrica (El Sol de México, 4 de marzo de 2021)  

Reforma eléctrica, soberanía energética (Reforma eléctrica, soberanía energética, 1 de marzo de 2021)

Diputados aprueban reforma eléctrica de AMLO tras discutir casi 400 reservas(Animal político, 23 de febrero de 2021)

Reforma eléctrica de AMLO: ¿qué quiere el presidente y cuáles son las alertas ante la iniciativa? (Animal político, 23 de febrero de 2021)

Sin parlamento abierto y entre acusaciones de ‘fast track’, Senado aprueba reforma eléctrica de AMLO (Animal político, 2 de marzo de 2021)

Sí a la reforma del sector eléctrico, pero no a cualquier costo (Animal político, 11 de febrero de 2021)

For more information from SIPAZ:

Chiapas/Oaxaca: Socio-environmental Struggles against 4T Megaprojects (March 2, 2021)
National: Indigenous Organizations Mobilize to Demand Justice for Murder of Samir Flores(February 22, 2021)
Oaxaca: CFE and National Guard Accused of Violating Human Rights in Isthmus Communities(February 14, 2021)
Oaxaca: Community Defender Fidel Heras Murdered in Oaxaca (January 27, 2021)
Oaxaca: Mexican State Revives Southern Bypass (January 14, 2021)

Oaxaca: Propietarios de tierras arrendadas a Eólica del Sur toman la subestación eléctrica “por tiempo indefinido” para exigir atención a sus demandas (June 11, 2019)

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