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By Gina-Marie Cheeseman
While the chances of the Congress passing climate change legislation are slim to none, the country south of the U.S. border just might beat us to the proverbial punch. The Mexican Senate passed the General Law on Climate Change last December with a 76 to 2 vote. On March 29, the Environment Commission of the Chamber of Deputies voted favorably for the bill. The bill, if passed, would make Mexico the second country after the U.K. to pass national climate change legislation.
Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies will vote for the bill on April 10 during a plenary session, reports the Center for Clean Air Policy (CCAP). The law has to be included in the legislative agenda before April 15 or it will have to wait for the new Congress in September. Waiting until September could slow momentum for the bill’s passage. (Reference – Center For Clean Air Policy Article)
The bill’s main aim is to reduce Mexico’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Mexico is the world’s 15th largest emitter of GHG emissions. According to the environmental organization, the Environment Development Fund (EDF) the bill states that its intention is to “favor the transition towards a competitive, sustainable economy with low carbon emissions, consequently generating environmental, social, and economic benefits.” – Reference – Environment Defense Fund
Specifically, the law, according to the CCAP, would do the following:
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) praises the bill. In a blog post, the WWF stated that it would set “a vision for low carbon, climate resilient development that provides legal certainty for international investors and Mexican entrepreneurs who see ‘green business’ as a new and fast growing area of opportunity in the country.” – Reference – WWF Article
The bill could also improve Mexico’s economy. WWF cites recent estimates by Mexico’s National Institute of Ecology that mitigating climate change could cause a five percent incremental GDP growth, and create three million jobs.
The bill could also do something else: shock its neighbor to the north into actually passing a national law to reduce GHG emissions for the world’s second largest emitter.