Mexico “Walks the Talk” regarding Climate Change
In an unprecedented move, on May of this year the Mexican Congress approved a Climate Change Law. The law sets specific targets and country commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy. With it, Mexico will gradually, but surely, reduce its carbon print and with it, its contribution to global warming.
The only similar legislation to have been enacted so far elsewhere in the world was introduced by the UK government. It is truly a worldly example of unilateral commitment, and shows the commitment that these countries, and their people, have with taking measures to avoiding climate change. As a developing country, Mexico has clearly taken the lead on this matter. The main difference with so many other multilateral agreements is that this legal action forces Mexico itself to comply it.
The Mexican Government is now legally required to follow a portfolio of actions to prevent climate change. Under this law, Mexico is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020 and by 50% by 2050. As well as setting a target on greenhouse gas emissions, it stipulates that 35% of Mexico’s energy will have to come from renewable sources by 2024, and that government agencies will be obliged to use renewable.
In terms of structure, the Climate Change Law establishes the need to create a commission that will supervise its compliance, as well as providing what’s necessary for the establishment of a trading scheme for greenhouse gas emissions permits.
It has been no secret that Mexico has played an important Leadership role at multilateral forums, like COP16, in order to foster reaching legally binding agreement. But this Law is a step further. The Mexican Government is taking individual responsibility and walking the talk, without waiting to take action until an agreement is reached. Besides the actions it is taking, it is being a promoter of individual responsibility showing that it is the place where true difference is made.
This legislation consolidates many of the significant efforts that have been put in place lately, without sacrificing economic growth. These efforts include the reduction in fossil fuel emissions, the implementation of low emissions transportation systems, a significant boost to wind power farms, the leadership in new generation biofuels, the improvement in air quality and a renowned environmental performance within the Americas.
The latter is just one more proof of Mexico’s commitment with climate change and with becoming an effective example for the world. How fast a stable climate would be a near possibility if all countries would “walk their talks”?