Mexico passes ambitious climate change law

Posted on 20 April 2012  | 
Mexico City – The Mexican Senate has passed the developing world’s first comprehensive climate change law, placing the nation within a small group of innovative countries that are taking firm action against climate change, says WWF.

With 78 votes in favor and none against, the new law makes Mexico and the UK the only two nations to have enacted comprehensive approaches to climate change legislation.

The new law commits Mexico to cut its emission by 50% by 2050 with international support, generate 35% of electricity with clean sources by 2024, and make renewables economically competitive before 2020.

It also calls for a phasing-out of fossil-fuels subsidies, the creation of a national green climate fund, and the creation of a National Ecology and Climate Change Institute.

"WWF applauds Mexico for its global leadership on climate change. Mexico's Climate Change Law puts the country on track to a low carbon economy, and will make a real, global contribution to fighting the climate crisis. Its northern neighbors – the US and Canada - should take note and take action," said Samantha Smith, Leader of the Global Climate and Energy Initiative of WWF-International.

New law covers deforestation and livelihoods

Another key contribution of the law is its consideration of emissions from deforestation and degradation - the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country - and its mandate of incentives to improve the living conditions of 12 million people living in forested areas across Mexico.

The law covers the adaptation of people and ecosystems to climate change, the role natural infrastructure plays in adapting to climate change impacts , and seeks to preserve ecosystems as a way to reduce the vulnerability of people to the impacts of climate change.

"The step that Mexico has taken is key not only for the Mexicans but for the international climate framework and negotiations where many countries condition their commitment to their fair share of their responsibilities, to climate action in other countries.

"We expect that the leadership that Mexico has taken, will spur equal leadership in other countries and speed-up the pace of international climate negotiations", said Tasneem Essop, Head of Low Carbon Frameworks at WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative.

"We are proud of Mexico's legislators from all political parties that looked beyond their parties' interests into the common interest of the Mexicans and Mexico's responsibilities to the world. In the coming 6 months, legislators must work hard to ensure the most robust regulation for the adequate implementation of the law. "WWF was closely engaged since the beginning of the process, more than two years ago and is ready to provide support in this endeavor", said Vanessa Pérez-Cirera, Climate Director at WWF-Mexico.

Sam Smith at the Global Day of Action march in Durban.
Samantha Smith, Leader of WWF's Climate and Energy Initiative at the Global Day of Action march in Durban, South Africa
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