On january the 30th, ITAM welcomed Vice-President of the European Commission , Frans Timmermans, who gave a lecture about climate, renewable energies and international conflicts at Raúl Baillères Hall. The event was moderated by Stéphan Sberro, Department Chair of International Studies, and Eugenia Reyes, president of the International Relations student association. It was also accompanied with the active participation of professors and students of the university.
Cooperation in the transition to renewable energies
The transition toward renewable energies have to occur promptly. It´s important to take notice on the context in which this transition has to occur: in the last 30 years,the income gap across different social groups has increased rappidly, leaving the issue of global resdistribution in the back burner. This is why, is necessary to rethink the way in which the society and economy are organized, Frans Timmermans states
“We have allowed the market economy, or what they call neoliberalism, to create more and more gaps. It was believed that something called trickle-down economics existed , nevertheless, we have become aware that the ones being benefited were always the ones on “top”.” – Frans Timmermans stated
Timmermans considers fundamental that everyone supports the energy transition policies. Also, it´s necessary to show that this transitions is beneficial to everyone and no one is going to stay behind. This energy transition needs to link the social, economical and political aspect for it to be able to succeed.
Energy transition in Mexico and Latin America
Moving ahead, Timmermans noted the search for social justice as the actual priority for governments of Latin America. The main focus in the discourses of the governments of Brazil, Colombia and Mexico is the income resdistribution to society. However, this does not imply that they should ignore the incoming climate crisis, both of these problems need to be solved at the same time.
The wold’s temperature has increased in 1.2 celsiud degrees, this has already caused changes in weather patterns. Lets not forget that this increase is just the average, in places such as Antartica and the North Pole the increase in temperature has gone up to 4 degrees – as explained by the Vice-President of the European Commission.
During López Obrador term there’s been a lot of talk about energy sovereignty It’s pressing to make López Obrador administration see that renewable energy makes a lot more sense in the economical aspect: renewable energys are becoming more affordable every day, meanwhile, fossil energy is becoming more expensive. Its vital to emphasize the advantage that Mexico has due to its geographical constitution with constant wind and plenty of sunshine.
Other advantage that Mexico holds over the rest of the world is its demographic: the average age of Mexico’s population is 29 years old. This represents a big potential to create a sustanable industry production.
Without a doubt, Mexico could thrive more if it invested in renewable energys, as it has a well-stablished industrial infraestructure. There’s no reason why Mexico couldn’t produce massive quantities of solar panels, made with national materials by Mexican workers and engineers: this is the true sovereignty. As is also the case of wind and geothermical energy – Frans Timmermans affirmed
War and Energy: The Conflict in Ukraine
To close up, Frans Timmermans spoke about how Europe’s course has been permanently altered by the war in Ukraine. For Timmermans, the war in Ukraine is a depitction of today’s imperialism, Putin’s message is clear, if you want something bad enough you can just take it.
Energy sources have become a weapon, Europe will no longer buy energy from Russia as it wont be blackmailed by Russia again. – Frans Timmermans added
This broke one of the main principles of international order: inviolability of the borders. Timmermans also warns us about the ideology that Putin’s government has. Under his command, women have become an afterthought, the rights of members of the LGBT community are being violated and gender violence in relationships have been decriminalized. Is crucial, according to the Vice-President, that Europe and Latin America get together to protect the democracy, the rule of law and the rights of the people.
Students and professors talking with Vice-President Frans Timmermans
A very interesting and insightful dialoge! pic.twitter.com/8PJUndeS2k
— European Union in México 🇪🇺🇲🇽 (@UEenMexico) January 31, 2023