Mexico's Senate passes sweeping climate bill, making significant move toward curbing climate change

On eve of Earth Day, General Bill on Climate Change now headed to President Calderón

April 20, 2012
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NEWS RELEASE

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Jennifer Andreassen, 202-288-4867, jandreassen@edf.org

(Washington – April 20, 2012) Mexico’s Senate has further propelled the country toward a low-carbon economy, approving last night a comprehensive climate change bill that aims to increase renewable energy use, set ambitious goals to curb domestic emissions and establish a high-level climate commission that is authorized to create a domestic carbon market.

Mexico’s General Law on Climate Change was passed unanimously by the Senate shortly before Earth Day and now awaits President Felipe Calderón’s final approval. Calderón, who has worked to establish Mexico as a global climate leader, is expected to sign the bill. The bill moved quickly this Spring through both chambers of Congress, whose sessions, along with Calderon’s term, end this year.

“Mexico’s Congress has given its people a special reason to celebrate Earth Day – a new law declaring that climate change is a national priority and will be addressed for decades beyond the sunset of this administration,” said Jennifer Haverkamp, International Climate Program Director at Environmental Defense Fund.

The House- and Senate-passed General Law on Climate Change will:

  • Develop policies and instruments to increase electricity generation from clean energy sources. The law includes a target of sourcing 35% of electricity generation from clean energy by 2024.
  • Aim to cut greenhouse gases 30% below business-as-usual emissions by 2020, and halve emissions below 2000 levels by 2050.
  • Formally establish a high-level intergovernmental climate change commission to implement the law.
  • Authorize the new commission to create a domestic greenhouse-gas emissions trading system that can include international transactions between Mexico and any countries with which it makes emissions trading agreements.
  • Establish a climate fund to collect and channel resources for climate change activities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) and adapt to the changing climate (adaptation).
  • Create a new national emissions registry to which major emitting sectors will report their emissions.

Several analyses, including from the World Bank, indicate that abundant low-cost, or even profitable, opportunities for reducing carbon can already be found throughout Mexico’s economy.

Once signed into law by President Calderon, attention will turn next to the law’s implementation.

“This law’s true significance hinges on the extent to which the government uses its discretionary authority to fully implement and strengthen the law's provisions. Done right, Mexico can both produce a powerful tool to fight climate change and maximize the law’s economic opportunities for the Mexican people and industry,” Haverkamp said. “For the bill to have passed with broad support from all parties in both chambers of Congress augers well for the future.”

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