It’s Official: Mexico Enacts Climate Change Law

The Mexican Senate unanimously passed the General Climate Change Law last Thursday evening, 19th of April, making it the first developing country to pass a law with comprehensive long-term objectives for combating climate change.

 Mexico’s General Climate Change Law outlines the following goals:

  • A reduction in carbon emissions by 50% by 2050.
  • 35% of Mexico’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources by 2024.
  • The establishment of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, a research and development institution.
  • The creation of a foundation for raising and channeling public, private, national and international financial resources for carrying out relevant projects.

“We can no longer afford to postpone this national law, a law that will create institutions and standards that will ensure adequate attention to this phenomenon by government agencies and society in general,” said Senator Eva Sandoval Contreras.

From July 2010 to July 2011, 43,355 restoration activities from the damages of climate change took place in 570 municipalities, totaling over $2.2 billion USD. The senators used this example to show the economic implications of failing to implement measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Changing our way of obtaining and using energy, as well as stopping deforestation and the degradation of ecosystems, as well as adequately managing waste, are the solutions to combating the negative effects of climate change,” continued Sandoval Contreras.

During the debate, senators highlighted the country’s recent firsthand experiences with the damaging effects of climate change: Mexico’s worst drought in seven decades, and the increasing number of floods affecting the country.

 “Although the law is not perfect,” said Senator Rubén Velázquez López, “it will place Mexico at the frontline of sustainable development as a way of life.”

The World Wildlife Fund Mexico praised this new initiative. “Mexico has demonstrated clearly its commitment to fighting climate change and has taken a fundamental step that will without a doubt support the international community’s efforts to meet this challenge, and it will surely incentivize other countries – developed or developing – to not wait any longer on this issue and to act in a decisive manner,” shared Omar Vidal, General Director of WWF Mexico.

 “The WWF applauds Mexico’s global leadership in the issue of climate change. The new law places the country on a low-carbon economy path, and will make a real contribution to face the climate crisis in a global context. Its neighbors to the north, the US and Canada, should take note and take concrete action,” said Samantha Smith, Leader of the Global Climate & Energy Initiative at WWF International.

Image via GreenMomentum

Veronica French is a young American-Bolivian professional living in Mexico City. She is a freelance writer and web consultant, as well as a marketing and business analyst for GreenMomentum, Inc., a cleantech consulting firm and startup accelerator based in Mexico City and Silicon Valley. She enjoys researching and writing about Mexico’s growing sustainability movement and innovation in clean technology. Topics that also pique her interest are science, technology, religion, human rights and culture. In her free time, Veronica rides her bike about town, plays guitar, cooks and fiddles with her roommate’s mischievous cat.

Follow Veronica on Twitter @veronicafrenchy

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