Whitepaper on Cleantech in Mexico
Mexico is a country of significant economic importance, both at the gobal and regional level. The country is one of three Latin American members of the OECD (Chile and Costa Rica being the other two), with 2015 GDP comparable to Italy. Despite the present uncertainties in the bilateral US-Mexican relationship, Mexico is moving rapidly towards becoming a significant economic power with a clear objective to continue on its path of global economic integration.
As a result of its economic growth and the position Mexico is assuming among the other OECD countries, the need for more and cleaner energy, clean water, and reduction of the overall environmental impact is growing. In 2016, Mexico invested almost USD 15 billion in environmental measures. Environmental protection is a new and increasingly significant concept in Mexican policy-making. In addition, the country needs to improve its insufficient and ageing infrastructure. New policies, laws, and regulations support a new mindset to tackle these important issues.
In March 2016, the countries of the Pacific Alliance (Mexico, Colombia, Peru and Chile) signed a green economy declaration, committing to a green development plan. Also in 2016, the three NAFTA member countries Mexico, Canada, and the United States joined the Paris Agreement on climate change which targets a reduction of emissions and the promotion of a clean economy. Mexico ratified the agreement in September and Canada in October 2016, while the new U.S. president Donald Trump announced on January 30, 2017, that his country was set to withdraw from it.
The current Mexican energy reform is ending the longtime state monopoly and liberalizing the market. Diversification of energy sources, the growth of renewable energy, and a reduction of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases are among the government’s goals for the coming 20 years. Auctions for contracts in wind, solar, and geothermal energy started in March 2016, initiating the wholesale market and attracting large international energy companies to Mexico. Mexico is mapping its Cleantech needs and is fitting these with the best solutions from European companies in the areas of energy efficiency (buildings and industry), waste, and wastewater management. Access to clean drinking water is another leading policy objective. Mexico’s water services are not up to the standards that could be expected from an OECD country. Even in the capital, less than half of the population has access to a constant stream of drinking water. This is not just a health issue, it also frequently leads to social tensions.
The new whitepaper on Cleantech in Mexico published by the Center for Business in the Americas, which is part of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences' International Management Institute, is the result of a thorough analysis of 11 different Cleantech sectors in the country and includes ongoing and pending policy changes. The document evaluates national and international incentive programs of these sectors and concludes that six sectors in Mexico should be of special interest for Swiss Cleantech companies with an international focus, namely: drinking water, wastewater treatment, solar energy, energy efficiency, sustainable buildings, and pollution control.
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