At Climate Summit, Mexico’s President Boasts About Oil And An Activist Condemns Fossil Fuels

By Rodrigo Cervantes
Published: Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 4:55pm
Updated: Thursday, April 22, 2021 - 4:56pm

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Office of the President of Mexico
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador listening to President Joe Biden's intervention at the Leaders Summit on Climate on April 22, 2021.

MEXICO CITY — Forty world leaders are meeting virtually Thursday and Friday at the Summit on Climate hosted by President Joe Biden to discuss stronger global environmental actions. Two Mexican guests, one activist and the president, offered conflicting perspectives. 

During his speech, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador boasted about his plans to renew hydroelectric stations and to refine oil in Mexico.  

But Xiye Bastida, a 19-year-old climate justice indigenous activist and guest speaker, condemned the oil and non-green energy industries. 

“You need to accept that the era of fossil fuels is over. We need a just transition to renewables worldwide,” Bastida said.

Mexico’s president also asked the U.S. to invest in his program for cultivating fruit and wood trees in southern Mexico and Central America, as well as to provide Visas and, eventually citizenship, to farmers in the project.

But according to media reports, members from the Biden administration say the proposal is not being considered, as reforestation and migration are two separate issues.