Mexico Vows to Cut Carbon Pollution 50% by 2050

Dec. 12, 2008
The target is to reach a level of half the 650 million tons of greenhouse gases that was emitted in 2002.

Joining Brazil among large developing economies to pledge large reductions in greenhouse gases, Mexico said last week that it would slash its carbon pollution by 50% before 2050.

Mexico will reach this goal through voluntary and non-binding commitments to improve energy efficiency in heavy industry, notably in the cement and oil sectors, Environment Minister Juan Rafael Elvira said. He unveiled key elements of the plan at the UN Framework Conference on Climate Change in Poznan, Poland, where 192 nations are striving to forge a global climate pact before 2010.

The target, he said, was to reach a level of half the 650 million tons of greenhouse gases that was emitted in 2002, the year Mexico will use as a baseline to measure change.

The oil and cement sectors both had "a great potential for reduction," but Mexico will need help in attaining its goals, said the junior environment minister, Fernando Tudela, also in Poznan. "We need to have secure financing, we can't rely only on funds coming from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)," he said. The CDM allows advanced economies to invest in carbon-reducing projects in the developing world as a means of fulfilling their binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gases.

Tudela recognized that Mexico still faces a fight against poverty in the midst of an economic slowdown, but said "the fact of being a developing country was not a reason for waiting to see results (on climate) before acting."

Last week, the Brazilian government unveiled a plan to cut the deforestation of the Amazon by 70% over the next decade. It was the first time Brazil, home to the largest area of tropical woodland on the planet, has set a target for reducing the damage wrought by illegal loggers and ranchers.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2008

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