Mexico’s Calderon Leads Probe of Climate Change Economics

September 25, 2013

Bloomberg, 9/25/13

calderon SpeechFormer Mexican President Felipe Calderon is spearheading a study sponsored by seven countries into the economics of climate change, seeking to elucidate the financial benefits of reducing carbon emissions. Calderon’s panel will draw from the experiences of companies and governments around the world in fighting off the ravages of storms and droughts, and in cutting greenhouse gases. It also will use academic research to show the costs and risks associated with climate change and efforts to stem it, publishing a report next September to guide policy makers.

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Chaos as floods submerge Mexico’s Acapulco, death toll rises

September 18, 2013

Reuters, 9/18/2013

Popocatepetl volcano spews ashMexico’s famous beach resort of Acapulco was in chaos on Tuesday as hotels rationed food for thousands of stranded tourists and floodwaters swallowed homes and cars after some of the most damaging storms in decades killed at least 55 people across the country.

Television footage showed Acapulco’s international airport terminal waist deep in water and workers wading out to escape floods that have prevented some 40,000 visitors from leaving and blocked one of the main access routes to the city with mud.

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Mexico aims to cut home energy use with green loan plan

June 28, 2013

environment - energy - light bulb with paddy riceThomas Reuters Foundation, 6/27/2013

Since the 1980s, the Mexican government has subsidized massive tract-housing projects around the country, filling them with hundreds of thousands of concrete-block, brick and mortar structures that have no insulation or other comfort control features. This response to intense pressure for affordable urban housing is to blame for widespread urban sprawl in Mexico over the last 30 years – and increases in climate-changing emissions, experts say. Homes now use 16 percent of the country’s energy and account for 3 percent of direct greenhouse gas emissions, as well as a variety of indirect ones, according to the country’s Social Development Ministry.

That rising urban carbon footprint is one reason the country’s climate change policymakers see cutting residential emissions as essential for reaching Mexico’s 2050 target to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half from 2002 levels. To accomplish the needed cut, they have turned to a so-called Eco House program, which Gisela Campillo Bermudo,  leader of the Inter-American Development Bank’s infrastructure and environment team, says is new in Latin America.

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Foreign wind farms cause uproar in Mexico

April 8, 2013

windmillAFP, 4/7/13

Foreign energy firms have flocked to a narrow region of southern Mexico, known as one of the world’s windiest places, to build towering wind turbines, but some projects have angered and torn indigenous villages. The construction of wind farms has soared across Mexico, with the gusty Isthmus of Tehuantepec in the state of Oaxaca attracting investors from as far as Europe, Japan and Australia.

The projects are a key part of Mexico’s efforts to combat climate change, one of the priorities of former president Felipe Calderon that has been picked up by his successor, Enrique Pena Nieto, who took office in December.

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In focus: Mexico’s climate change laws

February 5, 2013

environment -climate change - droughtRTCC, 2/4/2013

For the first time climate policymakers have a clear idea of how countries around the world are attempting to control their greenhouse gas emissions. We have selected the highlights from Globe’s analysis of Mexico’s  attempts to address climate change. Visit the Globe International website to download a full report and access data from the other countries featured.

Mexico was the standout country in 2012 on climate change. It passed a comprehensive climate change law – The General Law on Climate Change – with the support of all major political parties, a real achievement in a usually partisan Congress. In parallel, Congress approved legislation to prepare for the implementation of so-called REDD (Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation). This progressive stance is indicative of Mexico’s positive approach to tackling climate change.

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Mexico credited as world leader in cutting pollution

January 14, 2013

Chron, 1/13/2013

lawChina, Mexico and other emerging economies are leading the fight against climate change by passing laws to cut carbon and raise energy efficiency, the Globe International alliance of lawmakers said today. A study of energy and climate laws in 33 economies showed 18 made “significant” progress in 2012, Globe said today in an e-mailed statement. The alliance, which brings together lawmakers from 70 nations, is meeting in London today and tomorrow to discuss ways in which governments can contribute to the international effort to contain global warming.

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Mexico Emulates Neighbor California With 35% Clean Climate law

April 15, 2012

Clean Technica, 4/15/12

Joining world leaders in climate laws, Mexico just passed new legislation that catapults the poor neighbor to the south of the U.S. to a leadership role on a par with its northern neighbor, California.

Mexico’s General Law on Climate Change was just passed by an 128-10 overwhelming vote in its 500 member Chamber of Deputies, and moves to the Senate. Since that body passed a preliminary version already, its chances of becoming law look excellent. Just as investment in clean energy soared in California following passage of its clean climate laws starting in 2006 with the first Renewable Energy Standard and following up with AB32, its climate law.

California’s 33% clean energy by 2020 target received enough offers from solar and wind developers to make 100% of its energy from these two sources, for example. Mexico boasts the same abundant solar and wind resources and could easily achieve the same goals as California.

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Climate Change, Migration and Security: Best Practice Policy and Operational Options for Mexico

March 22, 2012

Royal United Services Institute, 3/22/12

The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London, GLOBE International and The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC/CEPAL), have collaborated and produced an interim report on their ongoing dialogue with Mexican officials regarding climate change and what it means for Mexico’s security.

This project follows on from the Royal United Services Institute’s (RUSI) previous work, which took place between 2008 and 2010, assessing the implications of climate change for national security in Mexico and Central America. The final report, launched in 2010, showed how climate change is expected to have profound impacts on Mexico and Central America, reshaping resource distribution, creating new dynamics of winners and losers, and making current challenges concerning poverty and governance more difficult to respond to. It was argued that these changes are likely to reshape the physical and political terrain of Mesoamerica and could have far-reaching repercussions for national and regional security.

Read the full report here.

New Hispanic group mobilizes around Colorado River

August 17, 2011

The Associated Press, 8/17/11

Hispanic leaders in the West have formed a new group called Nuestro Rio to focus attention on the Colorado River, which has sustained generations of Latinos.

The Colorado River system provides municipal water for more than 30 million people in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming and Mexico, but climate change, drought, population growth and wildlife needs have heightened competition for the system’s limited water supplies.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is studying future gaps in supply and demand for water from the river system through 2060.

As western U.S. cities propose water projects to claim their share of scarce river water, Nuestro Rio, which is Spanish for “Our River,” wants to make sure Hispanic voices are heard.

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Global accord on climate change hailed as breakthrough

December 11, 2010

Patricia Espinosa

The Global and Mail, 12/11/2010

Global negotiators overcame deep suspicion and geopolitical rivalries to approve a breakthrough agreement early Saturday at the Cancun summit, a United Nations-backed deal that commits countries to increase their effort to battle climate change and preserves key principles of the Kytoto protocol.

The Cancun accord was hailed not only as a major step forward in fight against global warming, but a much-needed boost for multilateralism as 193 nations — from the U.S and China, to Grenada and Lesotho — put aside national differences and found common cause against a growing crisis.

“With this agreement, you have broken out of the inertia and feeling of hopelessness,” Mexican President Felipe Calderon told the exhausted ministers and negotiators. “Confidence is back. Hope has returned.”

In a surprise and dramatic move, Mexican Foreign Minister Patricia Espinosa seized the initiative on Friday evening by tabling draft texts based on the work of a 50-country working group. The group had met over the previous few days, with fluid membership and an open-door policy to all delegations.

Ms. Espinosa was widely credited for her deft and transparent management of the intricate and often-heated negotiations. She avoided the mistake of last year’s Copenhagen meeting — where major countries crafted a deal behind closed doors that was later rejected by the convention as a whole — while still managing to keep negotiations on track.

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