On Thursday, April 19, 2012, Mexico's lower and upper houses passed a sweeping climate change bill clearing the way for President Felipe Calderon to sign it into law. President Calderon is expected to sign it in the coming days. After three years of debate and revisions, the bill has very strong legislative support and overwhelmingly passed Mexico's lower and upper houses (Chamber of Deputies and Senate, respectively).
The Mexican legislation is one of the strongest national climate change laws passed to date. The bill mandates several changes:
- requirements that future governments meet regular emissions reduction targets with the goal of ultimately cutting carbon emissions 30% below business-as-usual levels by 2020, and by 50% below 2000 levels by 2050;
- substitution of renewable sources for 35% of all electricity sources by 2024;
- requirement of mandatory emissions reporting;
- establishment of a carbon-trading market; and
- creation of a commission to oversee implementation of the bill.
Mexico ranks 11th in the world based on measurements of both economy size and level of carbon emissions and industry estimates suggest that the legislation could result in the development of a new US$3 billion market over the next 20 years. This is the first climate change law of its kind to succeed in North America, and the first from a developing nation.
Mexico is following a global trend of countries implementing their own climate change laws, rather than relying on the international community. As the Kyoto Protocol winds down without a replacement, countries have begun executing their own strategies to reduce global warming.
As we've previously blogged, countries such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea and China have all taken steps to create their own regimes for mitigating climate change, including the establishment of carbon markets. There have also been strong regional initiatives undertaken such as the EU Emissions Trading System and the Western Climate Initiative (California, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba).
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