Mexico City Bans 1.1M Cars in 1st Smog Alert in 11 Years

3/16/16 ABC News

AerialViewMexicoCityAuthorities banned more than 1 million cars from the roads and offered free subway and bus rides to coax people from their vehicles as Mexico City’s first air pollution alert in 11 years stretched into a third day Wednesday.

Officials advised people to limit outdoor activity due to high ozone levels that were nearly double acceptable limits in the sprawling capital, which lies in a high-altitude valley ringed by smog-trapping volcanic mountains.

Amid a muddy brown haze, some residents covered their mouths with scarves or paper masks as they moved through the streets. Some schools kept kids indoors during recess.

Environment Secretary Alejandro Pacchiano said if conditions don’t improve, further measures may be considered such as suspending industrial activity at factories.

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Mexico City Issues First Air Pollution Alert Since 2005, Report Says

AerialViewPhotochemicalSmogMexicoCity_2For the first time in 11 years, the Mexico City government declared an air pollution alert Monday after ozone levels reached twice the acceptable limit, the Associated Press reported. The city’s government credited the conditions to a high-pressure system and intense sunlight.

The alert issued Monday requires older and more heavily polluting vehicles to stay off the road Tuesday and limits the highly polluting industrial processes. Officials recommended that people stay indoors and not perform vigorous exercise outdoors, as ozone is a part of smog that can cause respiratory problems.

While a rule was previously introduced to discourage cars over 8 years old amid Mexico City’s regular, high smog levels, that rule had recently been relaxed by a court order, according to the AP. Environmental activists and officials have argued that it has led to more cars on the streets.

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Upcoming Event: The Future of Renewable Energy and Climate Change Policy in Mexico

environment - energy - light bulb with paddy riceWHEN: Tuesday, April 28th, 9:00am-10:30am

WHERE: 5th Floor Conference Room, Woodrow Wilson Center

Click here to RSVP.

Mexico’s recent Energy Reform marked a big change in terms of investment and opportunities in oil and gas. However, the comprehensive package of legislation was also aimed to incentivize and accelerate the change towards the production of goods and services based on renewable energies. Mexico has great potential to develop a wide range of renewable energies including solar energy, hydroelectric, geothermal, bioenergy, and wind energy.

What’s more, in March of this year, Mexico became the first developing nation to formally promise to cut its carbon emissions, a potential milestone in efforts to reach a worldwide agreement on tackling climate change. Together with the United States’ commitment to cut emissions by 26-28%, Mexico’s commitment to a 25% reduction by 2030 builds on legislation passed by the nation’s congress to reduce emissions and generate more electricity from renewable sources.

With these developments in mind, the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute is delighted to host Mexico’s Under Secretary of Energy Planning and Transition, Leonardo Beltrán, who will speak on both Mexico’s energy reform process and the prospects for renewable energy and carbon gas emissions reductions. At the same time, we are proud to launch our new publication “Renewable Energy in Mexico’s Northern Border Region,” which analyzes the current renewable energy situation in the north of the country and potential opportunities to engage in a productive relationship with the private and the public sectors in the United States. Jonathan Pinzón, one of the report’s authors and the Chief Operating Officer of GreenMomentum, will present the report’s findings and discuss the current state of renewables in Mexico. Our event will also feature comments from Hector Castro Vizcarra, the Embassy’s Minister for Energy Affairs.

Speakers

Leonardo Beltrán Rodríguez
Under Secretary of Energy Planning and Transition, Mexico’s Ministry of Energy

Hector Castro Vizcarra
Representative of the Secretariat of Energy (SENER) to the Embassy of Mexico in the United States

Jonathan Pinzón
Chief Operating Officer, GreenMomentum

Moderator

Duncan Wood
Director, Mexico Institute, Wilson Center

Click here for more information.

A live webcast will be available here

California and Mexico sign pact to fight climate change

07/28/14 Reuters

Environment -Climate change and apaptation -- dry groundCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown and Mexican environmental officials signed a pact on Monday aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, an agreement that could eventually expand the market for carbon credits.

The six-page memorandum of understanding calls for cooperation in developing carbon pricing systems and calls on the partners to explore ways to align those systems in the future.

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Fighting Climate Change Is Profitable: Mexico’s Calderon

06/25/14 Bloomberg

energy -wind_energyCurbing climate change is profitable and nations must offer business incentives for low-carbon growth to cut fossil-fuel reliance, according to former president of Mexico, Felipe Calderon.

Countries must act jointly and in a “comprehensive” way, targeting the energy industry, cities, agriculture and forests as the main areas where runaway greenhouse gas emissions can be reined in, Calderon said in an interview in London. The former leader is now chairman of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, a panel set up by seven nations including the U.K. to advise on the best ways to tackle global warming.

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Legislators to meet in Mexico in bid to bolster climate laws

globe north south americaBusinessGreen, 06/05/14

Hundreds of parliamentarians from around the world will gather in Mexico this weekend to sign a new blueprint that aims to stop average global temperatures rising to two degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The World Summit of Legislators, organised by Globe International, comes in the same week that the world’s two largest emitters- the USA and China – signaled major new plans to curb carbon dioxide emissions over the coming decades.

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Mexican farmers happy that lime is luxury this Cinco de Mayo

LimesThe Washington Post, 5/5/14

It’s been a tough spring for Cinco de Mayo fans and the bars that keep them plied with tart margaritas, as the Great Lime Shortage of 2014 has been threatening to break up the party. Cocktail prices spiked, bars passed off lemons as substitutes, and a 40-pound carton of limes shot past $100 in the United States, four times the normal price.

Nearly all the limes thumbed into Corona bottles come from Mexico, amounting to a half million tons of U.S. imports. And there have been many theories about what caused the unusual prices, including that the cost of extortion by drug cartels in the lime-growing state of Michoacan was being passed on to customers north of the border.

But Mexican lime growers attribute the high prices to something more mundane: bad weather. Unusually heavy rains last winter led to an outbreak of a fungus that destroyed many lime trees and reduced the national supply. “It’s climate change,” said Enrique Saavedra, director general of B&S Grupo Exportador, a lime supplier in Veracruz, the Mexican state sending the most limes to the United States. “People speculate that it had something to do with security in Michoacan, but it wasn’t that.”

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