Morning Spin: Emanuel heads to Mexico City for climate summit

Chicago Tribune 12/1/2016

Mexico CityMayor Rahm Emanuel is in Mexico City today to take part in a climate change summit organized by the C40 group of global cities.

Emanuel departed Chicago on Wednesday afternoon with three staffers and is set to return midday Friday, according to city spokesman Grant Klinzman. The conference is paying the travel costs for Emanuel and one staff member, while the economic development agency World Business Chicago is paying for two other staff members, Klinzman said.

He said the conference will pay for Emanuel and Chief Sustainability Officer Chris Wheat, while World Business Chicago will pay for mayoral spokesman Adam Collins and Lisa Kohnke, the city’s director of strategic partnerships and global affairs. Klinzman said World Business Chicago would have specifics on the costs of their portion of the trip afterward.

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UN hails ambitious Canada-Mexico-US partnership to fight climate change

UN News Centre  07/04/16

AlaskaThe head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) today hailed as “a major breakthrough” a recent announcement by Canada, Mexico and the United States that they will take sweeping action to achieve 50 per cent clean power generation by 2025 and cooperate on reducing disaster risk.

“The new North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Partnership is a major breakthrough and raises hopes that we can still limit temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius as envisaged in the Paris Agreement on climate,” said Robert Glasser, UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Disaster Risk Reduction and the head of UNISDR, in a news release.

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Three amigos summit seen as rare chance for big moves on climate change

06/22/2016 CBC News

three amigosThe North American leaders should seize their rare moment of political agreement on climate when they meet next week in Ottawa, says a new report.

The report, Proposals for a North American Climate Strategy, calls on the three leaders who will meet at the North American Leaders Summit June 29 to take advantage of the common approach they have on climate issues.

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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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