By: Khoder Nashar & Hatem Hussein
SHARJAH, 29th September, 2022 (WAM) -- Felipe Calderon, former President of Mexico, said that the UAE is one of the most committed countries to renewable energy and green transition.
In an interview with the Emirates News Agency (WAM), on the sidelines of the 11th edition of the International Government Communication Forum (IGCF) which concluded at Sharjah Expo Centre today, Calderon said that the UAE's pioneering renewable energy projects, including those in areas of desalinisation, wind and solar energy, are one of the biggest and most advanced globally, consolidating its position as a leader in sustainable development and green growth.
Promoting green growth
"In a very problematic era associated with the pandemic, it's best to think about recovery, while addressing the main global issue we are facing ahead, which is climate change and environmental issues. The best thing we can do is to promote new development and growth the correct way, which can be achieved by reducing carbon emissions and fighting climate change, while at the same time trying to boost economic growth, alleviate poverty, create job creation," Calderon explained.
"It is possible to achieve that in this new era of needed economic growth, but we must promote it with the consolidated efforts of government and society by reducing carbon emissions at the global level. It is difficult, but it is possible, and I think it is the way we should move forwards after the pandemic," he added.
Carbon Border Tax
The Former Mexican President labelled the 'carbon border tax' as controversial, noting that consumers and producers need economic incentives to reduce carbon emissions and usher in the world of renewable energy.
"Withdrawing fossil fuel subsidies and allowing technology to do its part is just as useful. In some parts of the world, we don't necessarily need to establish a carbon tax, just removing traditional fossil fuel subsidies could be enough. As the expression says: one size does not fit everyone," Calderon continued.
"People are not moved by fear, but by hope"
Sharing his thoughts on enhancing communication channels regarding climate change, Calderon said, "We have always talked about the horrors associated with climate change. However, people are not moved by fear, but by hope, so it is better to talk about the benefits of change; jobs we can create; poverty we can alleviate; and the economic growth we can achieve, instead of talking about the tragedies. So, the change in communication is exactly what is needed to send a positive message about the decisions we take and provide people with hope about the future, especially for the younger generation."
Shifting to the burning issue of inflation, the former Mexican President, who served his term from 2006 to 2012 said, "Central banks are implementing good measures by increasing interest rates to curb inflation, but that might carry suffering for some nations, especially the most indebted. We need to design mechanisms to alleviate those conditions of foreign debt for some countries, but at the same time understand that inflation needs to have restriction in monetary policies. I hope that the world will be able to coordinate its efforts so that peak interest rates will not last too long, otherwise, there will be a lot of suffering for everyone, especially the poor," Calderon said in conclusion.