Claudia Sheinbaum, a climate scientist and former mayor of Mexico City becomes the first woman to be elected president of Mexico. 

Sheinbaum’s predecessor and mentor President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has claimed he is stepping aside from politics to retire to his ranch.The left-wing Morena party has been the largest since 2018 and Sheinbaum’s campaign thus focussed on presenting herself as the continuity candidate.

During her academic career, the president-elect has worked on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and holds a doctorate in energy engineering. Her scientific background and expertise in environmental issues distinguish her from many traditional politicians.

Security remains one of the primary issues in Mexico, with 37 candidates murdered and hundreds more dropping out of the race due to threats from criminal groups seeking to install compliant rulers in the build-up to the election. Sheinbaum has pledged to tackle the country’s high murder rate, aiming to reduce it from 23.3 homicides per 100,000 residents. Notably, during her tenure as mayor of Mexico City, the capital’s murder rate fell by 50%.

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While her campaign did not focus explicitly on climate issues, Sheinbaum’s scientific background suggests she will bring a data-driven approach to addressing the climate crisis. As president, she faces the challenge of balancing the urgent need for climate action with the pressing social and economic issues Mexico confronts.

Her presidency marks a significant milestone for Mexico, with the potential to reshape the country’s approach to both climate policy and governance. The international community will be watching closely to see how Sheinbaum leverages her scientific expertise to navigate the complex intersection of climate action and socio-economic development.