Scientist Claudia Sheinbaum: Mexico’s First Female President

Mexico's President-Elect Claudia Sheinbaum voting in the 2024 election alongside her husband Jesús María Tarriba. Credit: Twitter
Claudia Sheinbaum, set to become Mexico’s first female and Jewish president since its independence 200 years ago, is a sustainability and energy leader

In a landmark day for Mexico, the country has elected its first female and Jewish president in Claudia Sheinbaum.

She is not just breaking political barriers with her record-breaking appointment, but is also spearheading a revolution in energy policy.

Claudia, who has a background in environmental science and a stellar commitment to sustainable development, is poised to transform Mexico's energy landscape throughout her tenure.

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Her leadership promises to blend innovation with sustainability, aiming to reduce Mexico’s carbon footprint and boost renewable energy initiatives. 

Who is Claudia Sheinbaum?

Formerly Head of Government of Mexico City, Morena party politician Claudia Sheinbaum is an environmental scientist by training and, in her political career and presidential campaign, has pledged to invest billions of dollars in renewable energy alongside plans to cap private sector investment in the electricity market.

She aims to make the country’s electrical grid cleaner by leveraging her background in physics and environmental engineering. She has a PhD in Energy Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and has conducted significant research in environmental science, particularly in sustainable energy and climate change in the form of more than 100 articles and two books on energy, the environment and sustainable development. 

President-Elect Claudia Sheinbaum voting in Mexico's 2024 election. Credit: Twitter

It’s not just as president she hopes to forge a more energy-efficient and sustainable future. As Head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia implemented a number of policies in the hope of improving public transportation, reducing air pollution and increasing the use of renewable energy sources.

Her interest in sustainability, the energy landscape and engineering was nurtured from a young age — the daughter of two scientists, Claudia spent several years in the US studying Mexican energy consumption patterns and became an expert on climate change.

After solidifying her position as an accomplished environmental scientist, she served on the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), helping ready her for a future on the world stage.

Speaking to the Associated Press in a 2023 interview, she said: “I believe in science.”

Claudia Sheinbaum campaigning for Mexico's 2024 election. Credit: Twitter

Going forward in her political career, Sheinbaum is working to “decarbonise the energy matrix as quickly as possible” in the hope that the energy transition will be one of the “hallmarks” of her administration. This will be underpinned by a plan to invest more than US$13bn in new energy generation projects to 2030, including increasing wind and solar power generation, as well as modernising hydroelectric facilities.

Regardless of what her six-year presidency ahead of her has in store, Claudia will always be the woman who managed to break the glass ceiling in Mexican politics, both as the country’s first female leader as well as her previous feat of becoming Mexico’s first female mayor — achievements not to be taken lightly.

Claudia sets out to continue her work in transforming Mexico's energy policies throughout her presidency with a staunch focus on sustainability, reducing carbon emissions and promoting green technologies. Her presidency ushers in a new dawn where there will be a shift towards environmentally conscious governance in Mexico.

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