company]. We established clear and concrete goals or payments toreduce carbon emissions, or instance. Another is regulation. We areestablishing better parameters or the vehicle industry. Another ispromoting mass transit in somecities. We are preparing—through thepublic works bank or inrastructurebanks and other development banksin Mexico—aordable credits or municipalities. They can promotepublic/private projects related withmass transit in order to reducecarbon emissions.
One o the barriers oten cited to doingmore in this area is vested interests—groups that stand to be disadvantagedby regulation—slowing down the process.Oten, the argument is about whetheror not it makes you non-competitivecompared to other countries. How didyou tackle that issue?
It is very important to understandthe companies’ point o view, andthey have a point. The question is,how can we apply neutral policies inorder to avoid these kinds o biases,or these kinds o situations o onecompany or one country ullling thenew regulation about the environmentand suering a loss o competitivenessas a result? At the national level,we need to involve the industries inthe general discussions.It’s not enough to try to wake upsome kind o national commitmentto the environment. Something elseis needed, and that could be the righteconomic incentives or all thoseinterested. And that could be relatedto taxes, or instance, or some kindo policy which gives incentive or saving energy.
How did this work in Mexico duringyour administration?
One example: At the beginning o my administration, there were nowind arms. In Mexico today, we have3,000 megawatts rom wind and agrowing number o projects. Some o them are made by private companies. We provided them with the rightincentives. We are not paying any subsidy, but we acilitated their accessto the grid in a more competitive way and more aordable way, becauseit’s a public utility.
But there is no one-size-ts-all-industriesapproach, right?
We need to establish some kind o order or the measures we will apply at the aggregate level. My point isthis: It is very expensive, or instance,or a company which is on the rontier o technology to make marginalreductions o carbon emissions, andthat could be very expensive or someindustries. However, there are other projects where we can get a lot o advantage in terms o carbon reduction.One o the most important tasks or the international community is todetect what projects are more viablethan others or reducing more carbon.
What sort o progress is being made inthis area?
There is some interesting researchthat is estimating the net present valueo the grid measures. It’s clear, or instance, that energy-saving programsor energy-intensive industries arenot only good or the environmentbut are also absolutely viable innancial terms. In other words, thatkind o measure applies not only tocarbon reduction but also to protsor the industry. We need to establishthe right public policies and economicincentives in order to move thecompanies to take those measuresto reduce emissions.I we are able to make the rightestimation o the net present value o dierent projects related to savingenergy or reduction o carbon emissions,we could make the rst step. Someonedid research in Mexico; they oundthat there are 140 projects in whichthe net present value is positive.