In a recent editorial penned in one of Mexico's major dailies, Jorge Emilio González, the president of Mexico's Green Party, made the case for Petroleos Mexicanos's deficient commitment to the environment. The national oil monopoly, known as Pemex, saw an increase of 4.5% in its carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 to 2006, mostly from natural gas flares at production facilities. It generated 34% more waste between 2001 and 2006, and hazardous wastes increased 43% in the same time period. Meanwhile, there has been a steady tally of fatal accidents registered at Pemex facilities since 2001 from explosions, leaks and spills.
Yet Pemex reduced its environmental protection budget by 17.1% between 2005 and 2006, despite the fact that the company's revenue increased by 15.7% that year due to high oil prices.
To its credit, Pemex has created and implemented a Safety, Health and Environmental Protection system, and has adopted the international standard for sustainability criteria laid out by the Global Reporting Initiative. As we've written about in previous posts, the company has also signed the Kyoto Protocol agreement and is beginning to sell carbon credits via the Clean Development Mechanism.
Most of Pemex's environmental impacts could be reduced by replacing older technology with cleaner technology, says González. But the company will need major boosts to its operations and maintenance budgets to improve its environmental record. :: Via El Universal (Spanish link)