Happy Cinco de Mayo… as Mexico leads the Way

May 4th, 2012 | Simcha Weinstein | Comments Off on Happy Cinco de Mayo… as Mexico leads the Way

With tomorrow being Cinco de Mayo, it seems appropriate to highlight Mexico in today’s posting. Two weeks ago, on April 19th, the Mexican legislature passed one of the strongest national climate-change laws to date by any country. Mexico, which ranks 11th in the world for both the size of its economy and its level of carbon emissions, joins the United Kingdom as the only two countries in the world having legally binding emissions goals aimed at stemming the effects of climate change.

The bill passed in Mexico’s lower house with a vote of 128 for and 10 against, and was later passed unanimously by the Senate. The new law contains many sweeping provisions to mitigate climate change, including a mandate to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide by 30% below business-as-usual levels by 2020, and by 50% below 2000 levels by 2050. The law also stipulates that 35% of the country’s electricity should come from renewable sources by 2024, and requires mandatory emissions reporting by the country’s largest polluters. The act establishes a commission to oversee implementation, and encourages development of a carbon-trading scheme.

This law builds on Mexico’s previous commitments to action on climate change, and reflects on the country’s green leadership on the international stage as it prepares to host the upcoming G20 leaders’ summit in June. As President Calderon prepares to host the next G20 summit in June, his administration will make climate change and sustainable development “priorities” during the meeting under a broad Green Growth theme. With 75 percent of the world’s GDP, the G20 is responsible for 75 percent of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Bringing together finance ministers from these countries is essential for putting sustainability at the core of economic recovery.

Good work Mexico, and happy Cinco de Mayo!