(CANCUN, Mexico – Dec. 3, 2010) Mexico City's legislature overwhelmingly approved Thursday a bill to address climate change through regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and establishing a carbon market, an action Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) hailed as an historic achievement for the city.
Mexico City's move comes while Mexico hosts the sluggish U.N. climate negotiations currently underway in Cancun. While the bill's regulations apply only to Mexico City, the greater metropolitan area's 20 million people, roughly 20% of Mexico's population, will likely benefit from the legislation.
"While nearly 200 nations are struggling to move forward within the U.N. process, Mexico City is showing that state and local governments aren't waiting on the U.N. to take real, concrete actions to reduce global warming pollution and protect their citizens from climate change," said Jennifer Haverkamp, managing director of EDF's International Climate team.
"This landmark legislation shows real leadership in curbing global climate change," said Haverkamp. Let's hope it inspires those gathered here on the Yucatan coast to follow their example."
According to a brief summary from the legislative assembly, the new law establishes an inter-agency climate change commission for Mexico City; creates a climate change fund that will be used for mitigation and adaptation efforts; regulates greenhouse gas emissions; and authorizes the city government to impose "green taxes" and create financial incentives for environmental benefits.
The law also creates a domestic carbon market in Mexico City, which will support the climate change fund, the city's Program for Climate Action, and other activities included in the law.
The Law for Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change was approved by 50 of the assembly's 66 representatives. The bill was fast-tracked through the legislature for a vote in time for the U.N. climate conference.