Mexico’s Senate Votes to Eliminate Daylight Saving Time

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Mexico’s Senate voted on Wednesday to end daylight saving time for most of the country, signaling a preference for more daylight in the mornings and potentially ending a biannual turning of the clocks.

The area along the border with the United States would not be affected by the measure and would continue to change its clocks twice a year. The rest of Mexico, however, would change its clocks for the last time next week if the bill is signed into law.

The Senate voted 56 to 29 with 12 abstentions on Wednesday, and President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was expected to sign the bill.

“This new law seeks to guarantee the human right to health and increase safety in the mornings, procure the well-being and productivity of the population, and contribute to saving electric energy,” the Senate said on Twitter.

Mexico adopted daylight saving time in 1996. Researchers have been conflicted on whether changing the time helps save on energy costs, which is one of the arguments for it.

Supporters of daylight saving time, including retailers and many outdoor industries, say the extra afternoon daylight would boost sales as consumers would have more time to spend their money after work or school.

Critics, however, say it disrupts people’s circadian rhythm, which is closely linked to sunlight, resulting in more people feeling tired and more dangerous commutes in darker mornings.

Passage of the bill in Mexico comes as similar debates about time changing continue to play out around the world, with some groggy legislators desiring an extra hour of daylight in the morning, and others wanting more daylight in the afternoon.

In March, the U.S. Senate suddenly and unanimously passed legislation to do away with the twice-yearly time changes, making daylight saving time permanent. But the House has yet to find consensus.

China, India and Russia do not use daylight saving time. (China uses Beijing time for the entire country.) In 2019, lawmakers in the European Union voted to scrap the seasonal time change and instead allow each country in the bloc to choose whether it would follow daylight saving time throughout the year or maintain standard time. But countries disagree over which time to adopt, and the pandemic has stalled those debates.

Hawaii and most of Arizona do not use daylight saving time. (The Navajo Nation, in northeastern Arizona, New Mexico and Utah, does observe it.) Several U.S. territories, including Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands also do not use daylight saving time.


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