Mexican NGOs Blast AMLO’s Plan to Mothball Climate Institute
(Bloomberg) -- A group of Mexican non-profits on Thursday criticized President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s plan to shut down the country’s independent climate change institute.
Lopez Obrador, who has enacted sweeping austerity across what he sees as a bloated government, said Thursday it was “very probable” that the Environment Ministry will take on the functions of the institute, known as the INECC.
“The decision to disappear the INECC sends a very unfortunate and incongruent message with regard to the promise the country has made to fight climate change, just a few days after the end of” COP26, wrote the group of NGOs, headed by the Mexican Center for Environmental Law, in an open letter.
The president, who is commonly known as AMLO, has been lambasted by environmentalists throughout his term for his mission to revive beleaguered state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos and backing for infrastructure projects that have threatened or damaged the environment.
Lopez Obrador at his daily press conference argued the existence of several bodies working on climate change was a sign of corruption.
“Can’t you do this work with one organism if there’s really the will? If this isn’t a farce, if it’s nothing more than jobs for your friends?” he said. “It’s not that the environment isn’t important to us -- on the contrary it interests us a lot. What we don’t want is for people to prosper off it.”
The INECC was created alongside the 2012 Climate Change Law to aid decision-making by doing objective research on the environment. The national water technology institute was also targeted in the draft bill abolishing the INECC, but not mentioned by Lopez Obrador on Thursday.
©2021 Bloomberg L.P.