Mexico releases pledge for 2015 UN climate change pact

Pena Nieto’s government joins EU, Norway and Switzerland in releasing contribution ahead of March 31 deadline

Mexico President Pena Nieto (Pic: World Economic Forum/Flickr)

Mexico President Pena Nieto (Pic: World Economic Forum/Flickr)

By Ed King 

Mexico has announced it will target a greenhouse gas emissions peak in 2026, as part of a UN climate change pact due to be agreed in Paris this December. 

The country’s foreign minister José Antonio Meade tweeted it was important for the government to participate “consistently and constructively in global negotiations.”

The plans also include a target to cut emissions 22% from business as usual levels, described by Nat Keohane, vice president at the Environmental Defense Fund as an “absolute emissions target by another name”.

It makes Mexico the first country classed by the UN as developing to officially declare how it would contribute to a plan to address global warming.

“This is a significant moment – if we needed any clear signals that we are in a new era I think this is a great one,” Keohane said.

The inclusion of an emissions peak date was significant, said Jennifer Morgan from the World Resources Institute, demonstrating leadership and setting a benchmark for others to follow.

“It really blazes the path for others – developed and developing – if Mexico can do this so can other major economies like Japan and Brazil,” she said.

“They worked extremely hard to meet this deadline and took it very seriously.”

A statement from the White House said the submission “sets an example”, adding it hoped it would “encourage other economies to submit INDCs that are ambitious, timely, transparent, detailed, and achievable.”

White House officials also released details today of a new US-Mexico climate taskforce, headed on the US side by energy secretary Ernest Moniz.

It aims to build on the strong links Mexico already has with California, with cooperation planned on fuel economy standards, appliance efficiency and developing better electricity connections between the two countries.

Other than Mexico, only Norway, Switzerland and the EU’s 28 member states have delivered their ‘intended nationally determined contributions’ (INDCs) to the UN ahead of a March 31 deadline set for countries that felt ready to contribute.

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