Yucatán’s Congress is considering the ratification of a new environmental tax.
The proposal plans to impose a tax of approximately 270 pesos per ton of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, as well as comparable penalties for pollution of the state’s soil and water.
“There are still many entities here in the state that create tremendous amounts of pollution, and that hurts us all so they should pay a penalty,” said Fernando Ponce Díaz, president of the COPARMEX.
The proposal has made its way to the desk of Yucatán Gov. Mauricio Vila Dosal, who is said to be very agreeable to the new initiative.
In theory, the new tax would incentivize the industry in Yucatán towards more environmentally friendly practices.
But critics of the government are concerned that the new tax will be applied selectively and ultimately amounts to nothing more than an effort on politicians to line their pockets.
It is also unclear how this tax would apply to government projects including the environmentally problematic Mayan Train.
The new policy also seems to fly in the face of recent decisions by the federal government which has snubbed renewable sources of energy, preferring instead to continue to invest in fossil fuels.
In fact, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has time and time again backed the CFE and Pemex, going as far as suggesting that green energies such as solar and wind power are unpatriotic and neo-liberal.
Nevertheless, many of Mexico’s biggest companies including Bimbo and Telcel have already begun to move away from the CFE in favor of greener alternatives.