“Achieving a Sustainable and Energy Efficient Future for Mexico and California”

Coordinator: Adrian Fernandez Bremauntz, Director, Mexico Climate Initiative

Description: Mexico and California have established several mechanisms of cooperation on clean energy and environment at the national and subnational levels. Leveraging this framework to advance new strategic collaborations on areas such as energy efficiency, electromobility, water energy and clean-energy grid integration is a timely exercise, in light of the need to advance sustainable development practices on both sides of the common border and achieve a low-carbon future. Relevant questions to frame the discussion in this session include:

  • What is the best way to harness California’s advanced clean energy policy and technology platform in support of Mexico’ sustainable development strategies?
  • What areas of work in the California -Mexico clean energy agenda present the best opportunity to establish impactful collaborations in the short, medium and long term?
  • What is the best way to engage the private sector in California and Mexico to encourage their participation in supporting clean energy R&D?
  • What strategies must be followed to create a model of clean energy collaboration that could be supported by international organizations and foundations?  
  • What are the elements that need to be considered in the development of a California-Mexico clean energy plan for the border region?

Panel members:

Odón de Buen Rodríguez

Director General

Comisión Nacional para el Uso Eficiente de la Energía (CONUEE)

Andrew McAllister


California Energy Commission

Michael McNeil


Mexico Energy Initiative 

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Developing Common Adaptation Strategies to Climate Change

U.S. Coordinator: Michael Wehner, Senior Scientist, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

México Coordinator: Tereza Cavazos, Researcher, Department of Physical Oceanography. Center of Scientific Research and Higher Education of Ensenada (CICESE).

Description: Climate change is the overriding environmental challenge of our time. Given the socio-economic impacts of climate change, it is imperative that we develop effective adaptation strategies to minimize its impact. Efficient adaptation strategies to climate change require engagement of all sectors of society. Mexico and California share climate change impacts not only because of the large border region and ocean between them, but also because climate change related extreme events such as droughts, heat waves, coastal storms, and floods are likely to increase in intensity and number in both regions. In this session, the following questions will be discussed:

Which threats from climate change are shared by Mexico and California?

  • Physical systems
    • Water (continental and ocean)
    • Drought (meteorological and agricultural)
    • Heat waves
    • Tropical cyclones
    • Other topics
  • Human systems
    • Food security
    • Human health
    • Tropical and winter storm damage
  • What specific research areas of climate change science and adaptation can Mexico and California engage in immediately?
  • What physical and social science research opportunities and capabilities can be developed between Mexico and California?
  • What are the barriers (or gaps) to cooperation in developing effective engagement in the climate change sciences between Mexico and California?
  • What common resources are available that can inform adaptation strategies and policies across borders?

Agriculture: Linking productivity Improvements and Environmental Outcomes in California and Mexico

U.S. Coordinator: Prof. Dan Sumner. Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics. University of California, Davis.

Mexico Coordinator: Armando Sanchez, Director of the Institute for Economic Research, UNAM

Description: For Mexico and California the agricultural sector is of key importance. California is the leading agricultural state, in terms of value, of the United States, while in Mexico the agricultural sector is an important component of Mexico’s GDP and plays an important role in terms of Mexico’s food security. Climate change poses a challenge for the agricultural sector of both Mexico and California as the number and intensity of droughts and heat waves is likely to increase. Climate change impacts are likely to reflect on agricultural production and environmental outcomes such as labor health, ecosystem integrity, and others. Agricultural production is no longer viewed an isolated process, instead, agricultural and environmental outcomes are now considered related and impacting society’s wellbeing in unison.

While the challenges imposed by climate change and its socioeconomic and environmental consequences are significant, they also provide opportunities where collaboration between policy makers, researchers and other stakeholders bring about positive socio-economic outcomes. Some of the questions to consider in this session are:

  • What are the roles of technological innovation and adoption in improving the agricultural sectors in Mexico and California?
  • Are there opportunities of collaboration in developing agricultural technological improvements that benefit both Mexico and California?
  • Can we envision a framework for Mexico and California where agricultural production and related positive environmental outcomes are viewed as complements instead of competing activities? If so, how do we move towards this approach?
  • Can the private sector in both Mexico and California contribute with academia and the public sector in developing a common agricultural agenda?

Impact of Climate Change on Migration, Health and Labor

U.S. Coordinators: Mark Schenker, Professor, University of California, Davis and Dr. Xochitl Castaneda, Program Director, The Health Initiative of the Americas, University of California, Berkeley

México Coordinator: Dr. Horacio Riojas, Director, National Institute for Public Health

Description: Climate change is expected to dramatically increase as a cause of global migration in the 21 st century. The impacts of climate change on the health of migrants are experienced in the countries of origin, in the transit and in countries of destination. This is particularly of significance because of the large number of individuals who migrate between Mexico and California and the influence of climate on the health of individuals moving between the two countries. Climate change also impacts the health of migrants from Latin America transiting across Mexico. Immigrants are particularly vulnerable to climate-related health risks because of several social determinants increasing the risk in this population. Outdoor workers in California and Mexico are largely an immigrant population and are at increased risk of climate change-related adverse health effects.

  • What are the climate—related health risks of migrants moving between Mexico and California?
  • What specific interventions are possible to reduce the risk of climate-related illness among migrants in the country of origin, in the transit and in the country of destination?
  • What interventions (education, regulation) are possible to reduce the risk of heat-related illness among outdoor workers in Mexico and California?
  • What are potential avenues of common effort that can be implemented to reduce the climate-related health risks of climate change among workers and residents in Mexico and California?
  • What institutions in California and Mexico should be involved in efforts to reduce the health risks of climate-related impacts?

Mexico and California: Building Environmental Resilience Together

With the conference approaching, we would like to proudly accounce the graduate students that will be going to Mexico and participating in the conference! Our agenda is located here!

Laura Elisa Garza Díaz

Laura Elisa is pursuing a PhD in Hydrologic Sciences from the University of California, Davis for which she received a scholarship from the Mexican National Council for Science and Technology (CONACYT). Her research is focused on sustainable water resources management and planning of the Rio Grande/Bravo Basin. She is highly motivated in finding sustainable solutions and adaptation strategies that help water-scarce basins to balance natural, cultural, social and economic interests.
For her dissertation she will assess the impact of extreme climatic events in this transboundary basin to provide policy recommendations for bi-national water management. As the scientific advisor for Pronatura Noreste in issues related to environmental flows and water resources management,  she is an active participant in stakeholder meetings of the Rio Bravo basin council during discussions of a proposed regulation for Mexican water allocation. She has worked on research projects related to sustainable agricultural water management and resource conservation in California and Mexico. Laura holds a dual master’s degree in Applied Ecology from the University of Kiel, Germany and the University of Poitiers, France.

Johnny Magana

Growing up, Johnny Magana faced many personal challenges that included learning disabilities, poverty, and sexual orientation. Over time, these challenges have strengthened his character and resolve for ongoing learning. Being gay and being a student with two documented learning disabilities, Dyslexia and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, resulted in being bullied throughout my secondary education and has made me mindful of other individuals who deal with similar life experiences. 

 While enrolled at UCSB, Johnny Magana maintained ties and solidarity with people within the Latinx, migrant, transnational, disabled, and LGBT communities by participating in college dialogue platforms, addressing inclusive engagement, and searching for opportunities within my institution for the development and further representation of diversity. He obtained a Bachelors degree in Global and International Studies with an emphasis in global migration and transnational identities. 

His Mexican heritage and his collegiate experience as a first-generation college graduate student have become significant resources allowing him to educate children who come from low-income families through a music and art programs. He is the founder of a Children’s Mariachi Program in my hometown of Santa María, CA that fosters education with an emphasis on the importance and recognition of the Mexican culture while providing participants with an understanding of México’s diversity, its global presence through music, and its cultural position in this globalized world. 

His research at UC Davis is to highlight the importance of transnational migration as a positive agent for change within migrant families in the hope of maximizing their social and economic opportunities.  He aspires to focus on areas of need within the migrant children sector, specifically food, shelter, education, and health care; He plans to use his graduate education to identify and create programs that strive to respond to academic and educational urgent needs. 

Ariedy Beltran

Areidy Beltran is a doctoral student at UC Berkeley’s Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM). Her research focuses on the Food-Energy-Water-Climate Nexus. She is currently investigating where water availability may lead to water, food, or energy insecurity around the world based on population growth and climate change scenarios.

Before joining ESPM, Areidy worked in the environmental and geotechnical engineering consulting industry in the Bay Area for two years. Areidy holds a Masters degree in Earth and Planetary Science and a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Earth Science (with a minor in Global Poverty and Practice) from UC Berkeley.

Ivan Soto

Ivan is a graduate student with the Interdisciplinary Humanities program at the University of California, Merced. He has a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Humboldt State University, serves as a graduate representative for the Interdisciplinary Humanities Graduate Group, and is a member of UCM’s Latinx Graduate Student Association. His work focuses on Southernmost California’s Imperial Valley region and his research interests include the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, California agricultural labor, water, and environmental history.

Anahi Monserrat Ibarra Perez

I am an incoming second year student in the Masters in Public Health program at UCSD. One my biggest passions is doing binational work that engages communities from the US and Mexico. I am currently interning as an epidimiologist at the Office of Binational Border Health for the State Public Health Department where I have been learning about and doing active surveillance  on the travel of infectious diseases across both sides of the US- Mexico border. In addition to border health, I am also interested in digital health and how it can be used for reduction of chronic disease. Currently, I am implementing a multi-modal digital health intervention for reduction of weight in young adults. I’m deeply passionate about the environment and have been engaging with my graduate cohort to participate in more advocacy work for policy that places our environment and climate change on the forefront. I’am excited to deepen this conversation with the inclusion of our close neighbor and (my native country) – Mexico. 

Valerie Carranza

Valerie Carranza is an NSF Graduate Research Fellow in Environmental Sciences at the University of California, Riverside. She investigates trace gases that contribute to climate change and affect air quality. In particular, she has a keen interest in methane, nitrous oxide, and ammonia emissions from dairy farms in the Central Valley of California. She received her B.S. in Environmental Science with an emphasis in Environmental Engineering from the University of California, Los Angeles. Previously, she has investigated aquaculture in the open sea, greenhouse gas emissions in the city of Los Angeles and future planetary missions to Mars at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Esaú Casimiro Vieyra

Esaú is a Master of Public Policy student at the University of California Riverside with a concentration in Race and Immigration. Esaú’s interests include immigration policy, public opinion, political participation, and immigrant integration. Recently, Esaú has taken interest in GIS and the potential applications that it can have on immigration. Esaú is currently a Researcher and Center. Associate at the UCR Center for Social Innovation. In addition to being part of the CSI, he is part of the WRCOG Public Service Fellowship Program and is currently placed in the County of Riverside Executive Office – Homelessness Solutions.

Laura Cristal Magaña

Laura Cristal Magaña is a Gates Millennium Scholar and a third year PhD student in Environmental Health Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB). She is conducting her doctoral research in the lab of Dr. Martyn Smith, with guidance from Drs. Luoping Zhang and Andres Cardenas. Her research objective aims to establish a correlation between chemical exposure and human disease using molecular and sequencing techniques. Moreover, she utilizes in vivo and in vitro assays to assess the toxicity of EPA Superfund chemicals. Prior to attending UC Berkeley, Ms. Magaña was an Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) Fellow at the Division of Viral Diseases, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC in Atlanta, Georgia. Her research centered on next-generation sequencing of RNA viruses. Ms. Magaña received her Master of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health from The George Washington University in Washington, DC. While in DC, she was an HSHPS/National Institutes of Health Fellow and worked at the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion for the Office of the Director and interned at the DC Public Health Laboratory. She is an alumnus of Oregon State University with a Bachelor of Science in Bioresource Research with options in Toxicology and Biotechnology. Ultimately, she foresees her research path benefiting vulnerable populations, especially Latinas, in the area of reproductive and developmental health. In the future, Ms. Magaña wants to ensure higher participation of women and people of color in STEM careers and increased promotion into leadership positions. She is an active member of the Latina Researchers Network, Society of Toxicology, UCB Graduate Students de la Raza, UCB Latinx Association of Graduate Students in Science and Engineering, and is a Graduate Student Representative for the Genetic and Environmental Toxicology Association, in North California. She is a proud Oregonian Chicana and in her “spare time”, she workouts before going to brunch.