Mexico City passes historic climate bill while U.N. climate talks remain sluggish

In another example of local governments taking leadership in combating climate change, Mexico City’s legislature overwhelmingly approved Thursday a climate bill that will regulate greenhouse gas emissions and establish a carbon market.

(photo credit & thanks to Flickr user Threthny)

Mexico's City's new climate bill will regulate greenhouse gas emissions and establish a carbon market in a city whose greater metropolitan area is home to 20 million people. (photo credit & thanks to Flickr user Threthny)

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.

Jennifer Haverkamp, managing director of EDF’s International Climate team, said the law’s passage is an historic achievement for the city:

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.

This landmark legislation shows real leadership in curbing global climate change.  Let’s hope it inspires those gathered here on the Yucatan coast to follow their example.

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.

The Law for Mitigation and Adaptation to Climate Change

  • 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
  • authorizes the city government to impose “green taxes” and create financial incentives for environmental benefits
  • 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

Mexico City’s law is another example of progress being made at the state and local government level in the absence of an international climate agreement. Last month, the Mexican state of Chiapas and the Brazilian state of Acre joined California in an historic achievement to curb climate change through reducing deforestation, agreeing to form a Working Group to promote efforts on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) at the state level.

Read more in EDF’s news release: EDF hails Mexico City’s passage of historic climate bill as major progress.

This is part of a series from EDF’s experts, who are blogging regularly from the U.N. climate conference in Cancún on EDF’s Climate Talks blog.

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