Canada will work with the other countries affected by Mexico’s decision so that foreign companies can have access to the Mexican energy market, and business sources told Efe. “You don’t change the rules of the game in the middle of the game,” complained a senior executive from one of the affected companies.
TORONTO Canada (Efe) – The Canadian private sector, government, and political parties have expressed their displeasure at the unilateral decision by Mexican authorities to change the rules on private renewable energy generation projects in which Canadian companies have invested billions of dollars.
Private sector sources in Canada explained to Efe the “consternation and stupor” that the decision of the government of Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has caused to Canadian companies that have invested in Mexico in the renewable energy sector in recent years.
“The rules of the game are not changed in the middle of the game,” a senior executive of one of the companies affected told Efe, preferring to remain anonymous so that he could speak freely about the situation that Canadian investors are experiencing at the moment.
Other Canadian company representatives expressed their concern about the message sent by AMLO’s government, to foreign investors, not only in the renewable energy sector but in other economic areas.
“The only thing that investors ask from a country is legal certainty and predictability when making investments. That is currently in doubt in Mexico,” said another source consulted by Efe.
Canadian companies have invested so far in Mexico, about 9 billion dollars in the energy sector. More than a third of that figure, 3.1 billion dollars, is in the renewable energy sector.
So far, no one has pointed out that the Mexican authorities’ actions are making them reconsider their presence in the country. Everyone agrees that in part, it is because they hope that rationality will prevail in the end and that the situation will be redressed in a way that is satisfactory for everyone.
“We need to have more information because almost every day the rules are being changed,” explained the representative of one of the companies affected, who added that so far no one from the Mexican government has contacted them to explain the changes or what they can expect in the future.
Industry sources indicated that their main objective is to open a line of dialogue with the Mexican authorities to resolve the situation.
It is not only Canadian companies that are puzzled by the situation. European investors, including Spanish and American, are also affected by the ups and downs of AMLO’s administration on the energy issue.
A Canadian government spokesman told Efe that Ottawa has been in contact with Mexican authorities about the change in regulations at the National Energy Control Centre (Cenace), which limited the generation of renewable energy and prohibited the testing of clean plants were about to start up.
“Canadian companies have indicated that they are concerned about recent measures taken by the Mexican government that affect their energy investments in Mexico. Canada shares those concerns, as Canadian companies have invested close to $9 billion in the sector,” a spokeswoman for the Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry told Efe.
The same spokeswoman also indicated that Canada would work with the other countries affected by Mexico’s decision so that foreign companies can have access to the Mexican energy market.
A sign of the unease and concern of Canadian authorities was a letter that Canada’s ambassador Graeme Clark, recently sent to Mexican authorities protesting the form and substance of Cenace’s new regulations.
“This agreement unifies a series of measures, political and legal changes that attack investments in renewable energy in the country,” Clark explained.
Elizabeth May, the congresswoman and leader of the Canadian Green Party told Efe that she was “shocked” by the Mexican government’s decision because “it doesn’t make any sense”.
“I am very concerned,” Landau said of Mexico’s drive to reactivate supply chains. May added that her fear and unease are even more considerable because AMLO’s government has justified the decision to change the rules and block renewable energy projects using the coronavirus pandemic as an excuse.
“It is a scandal that they have used COVID-19 to justify the decision,” May said, referring to Mexican authorities’ statements that renewable energy is “intermittent” and unreliable when the country is suffering the consequences of the pandemic.
For May, Mexico’s decision is “irrational,” especially given that pollution levels in Mexico City remain incredibly high during the pandemic while in the world’s largest cities, pollution has decreased as a result of less industrial activity and transport.
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