Climate Change and Mexico’s Beer Industry

This article details the effect of the heavy droughts in northern Mexico on the country’s beer industry which has become a target for climate activists in Mexico. Mexico’s beer industry largely operates in the drought-prone northern regions of Mexico where it can capitalize on its proximity to the United States. In fact, Mexico is the top global exporter of beer. At the same time, a quarter of Mexico’s states have experienced moderate to extreme drought and more than half of its municipalities are experiencing water shortages. As a result, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has expressed a plan to move the majority of the beer industry’s operators to southern regions where water is more abundant. As water shortages have worsened, cities have begun to pressure private companies to cede some of their water allotments to the city, while activists argue that federally granted water permits to industrial users have not adequately accounted for local needs, such as water access for households. Furthermore, a challenge to moving the industry south is a lack of infrastructure and railroad transportation. This article raises such questions as how the government of Mexico will continue to respond to water shortages, how this will affect various industries, such as the beer industry, and how people will react as climate change worsens. It connects to our course as it exemplifies the significant impact climate change can have on a country and the varying and interrelated responses, including activism, a heightened awareness, and rethinking development, that arises in response to such a challenge.