The shipping industry is under increasing pressure to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, which account for about 3% of global emissions each year. The sector is heavily dependent on high-emission heavy fuel oil, which makes decarbonizing the global maritime fleet a daunting task.
The opportunities for Mexico in this area are promising. Increased investment in green energy has been expanding Mexico’s green infrastructure for years and offers promising possibilities for expansion. According to a study by the Environmental Defense Fund, Mexico has the potential to play a key role in transforming global shipping through green hydrogen-derived fuels and renewable electricity.
Mexico’s strategic location between the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as well as its close proximity to the U.S., facilitates access to the world’s largest and most important markets along with serving major shipping routes from its ports. This, and the large potential to expand renewable energies, could make the country the leading supplier of green fuels for commercial vessels.
Following the Paris Climate Agreement, Mexico has set a target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by at least 22% by 2030 and 50% by 2050 compared to 2000 levels. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry through research and implantation of green fuels is one way to achieve this goal. In this regard, hydrogen and ammonia are considered the most suitable options for large cargo ships, whereas small ships can be powered by renewable electricity. Mexico is potentially capable of meeting both its domestic electricity needs and the production of green fuels to power commercial vessels anchored in its ports through the use of renewable energy. In addition, locally deployed renewable energy can provide energy security and help drive the decarbonization of Mexico’s economic sectors, as well as create a wide range of green jobs.
Thus, global demand for clean fuels and the potential of renewable energy expansion could help Mexico position itself as a major exporter of green commodities. To achieve this goal, in addition to a high demand for carbon neutral fuels, a supportive political landscape is needed to attract foreign and private investors. Furthermore, it is crucial that there is transparency in the investment and development process, and collaboration with other sectors of the economy to guarantee stable expansion. With the support from logistics stakeholders in the shipping industry, and numerous trade agreements with key markets, Mexico’s potential to deliver zero-emission fuels could lead to real growth and business opportunities, and strengthen the local economy in the long term.
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