As dozens of scientists gathered in Switzerland last month to finalize a seminal United Nations report on the climate crisis, across the Atlantic, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was gearing up for a celebration of all things oil.
On 18 March, he joined tens of thousands of people in the heart of Mexico City to mark the 85th Anniversary of nationalizing the fossil fuel industry.
López Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, boasted how his administration had saved the national oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), and said that Mexico would stop importing foreign oil in 2024.
“That the people of Mexico know that the electric and oil industry is being rescued, this is part of what inspires us,” he said.
It was quite the political spin. Pemex’s output has dwindled over the past decade, and the company’s balance sheet carries more debt than any other oil major at an astonishing $107.7bn, according to Bloomberg.