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Former Mexican President Discusses Climate Change, Foreign Relations

Mike Miletich

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderón says people should take advantage of a low-carbon economy in the fight against climate change.

While speaking at Illinois Wesleyan University Thursday night, Calderón said too many of us look at the horrible aspects of climate change.

"I prefer to say that the world will be better. The economy will grow and we will be more human," said Calderón. "The world will be a better place if we do the right thing. So instead of talking about the hell of climate change, it's time to talk about the heaven of the new climate economy."

Calderón also said we can do well by doing good.

He said most Americans already support the American Participation in Parks Agreement. And he said about 80 percent of Americans support taxing or regulating emissions.

Calderón spent time after his speech to answer questions from the audience. One question from an Illinois State University student focused on Calderón's thoughts of the current political relationship between Mexico and the U.S. under President Trump. 

Calderón said every country has the right to establish policy or programs for their people. But, he said a wall is not exactly the most friendly act. 

"If your neighbor wants to build a wall or a garage, or a kitchen in his or her own property of land, he or she has the right to do that. But, tell me in which country and under which law you must pay for the wall, the kitchen, the garage, or your neighbor," said Calderón. 

Calderón said he worries about the polarized society in the U.S. and growing anti-American sentiment in Mexico. He also said the two countries need to work together to improve relations.

Calderón served as president of Mexico from 2006 - 2012. He is the founder and president of the Sustainable Human Development Foundation.

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Mike joined GLT's staff as a student reporter in February of 2016 having worked previously as a reporter at Illinois State University's student radio station, 103.3 WZND. He acted as a director for the WZND newsroom for two years. Mike was also seen as a reporter, producer, and anchor at TV-10 News. He graduated with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism in May of 2017 before starting his post-graduate career with the Public Affairs Reporting Masters Program at University of Illinois Springfield.
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