by D. Agren, Feb 15 2021 in TheGuardian
As the climate crisis worsens, Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to buy nearly 2m tons of thermal coal from small producers
The men on the midnight shift smoked cigarettes and cracked jokes in the glow of their helmet lights as they prepared to go underground. They were loading safety equipment and coils of pipe on to wheelbarrows, in readiness for a second shift due to start working later that week.
“We’re reactivating the industry,” said Arturo Rivera Wong, who had just taken on 40 more workers at the mine he owns in the scrublands of the border state of Coahuila.
“Four furnaces at the big thermoelectric plant are going to be reactivated,” he explained. “This is going to kickstart coal sales.”
As the climate crisis worsens and clean energy prices plunge, governments around the world have been weaning their economies of coal and other fossil fuels.
Mexico is moving in the opposite direction.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, popularly known as Amlo, has unveiled plans to buy nearly 2m tons of thermal coal from small producers like Rivera. He also plans to reactivate a pair of coal-fired plants on the Texas border, which were being wound down as natural gas and renewables took a more prominent role in Mexico’s energy mix.
Not only is López Obradorbetting big on fossil fuels, he is also curtailing clean energy.