Mexico was once a climate leader – now it’s betting big on coal

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As the climate crisis worsens, Andrés Manuel López Obrador plans to buy nearly 2m tons of thermal coal from small producers

The men on the midnight shift smoked cigarettes and cracked jokes in the glow of their helmet lights as they prepared to go underground. They were loading safety equipment and coils of pipe onto wheelbarrows, in readiness for a second shift due to start working later that week.

“We’re reactivating the industry,” said Arturo Rivera Wong, who had just taken on 40 more workers at the mine he owns in the scrublands of the border state of Coahuila.

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