Mexico axes Baja resort over environmental fears

BBC, 6/15/12

Mexican President Felipe Calderon says he is cancelling the construction of a huge tourist resort in Baja California over concerns it could damage a nearby marine reserve.

Speaking from his official residence, President Calderon said that “because of its size we have to be absolutely certain that it wouldn’t cause irreversible damage, and that absolute certainty simply hasn’t been proved”.

The head of the WWF environmental group in Mexico, Omar Vidal, said that it sent “an important message to Mexican and international investors that this type of tourist development based on mass scale and golf courses is no longer acceptable in Mexico”.

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Mexico Emulates Neighbor California With 35% Clean Climate law

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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Mexico Institute Event Invitation: “Fourteenth Report Of The Good Neighbor Environmental Board to the President and Congress of the United States”

The Good Neighbor Environmental Board and the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute invite you to the release of a new GNEB report and a discussion on border region environmental issues:  “Fourteenth Report Of The Good Neighbor Environmental Board to the President and Congress of the United States”.

The event will take place on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 from 12:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the Fifth Floor Conference Room of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

In this report, the Board responds to the charge set by the Council on Environmental Quality to develop actionable recommendations on the potential environmental and economic benefits of renewable energy development in the U.S.-Mexico border region.

* Update: The report is now available online and is available here, on EPA’s Good Neighbor Environmental Board website.

Plans for resort in Mexico ignite concern about reef

The Washington Post, 11/9/11

Where once the waters here were almost barren of life, there are now vast schools of randy, spawning big-eyed jacks. The grouper lurking in the thriving coral have reached the size of overindulged toddlers. The tiger sharks are big enough to star in scary movies. The nesting turtles, devil rays and sea lions have returned, too, alongside a few tourists wearing flippers and masks.

Marine scientists confess pure astonishment at what has happened in the 16 years since Cabo Pulmo National Park was created at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California, 60 miles north of Cabo San Lucas.

In August, researchers reported that the biomass of fish in the no-take marine reserve had increased by 463 percent in just 10 years, more than a quintupling that is unprecedented and offers hope that, if just left alone for a little while, the planet’s depleted seas can rebound. But all is not well in Cabo Pulmo.

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