By staff, businessGreen, April 16, 2012
Latin American country poised to become second nation to pass binding Climate Change Act after UK
Mexico is set to become the second country in the world to pass a far-reaching Climate Change Act that will impose binding emission reduction targets on successive governments.
The country's House of Representatives approved the proposed law late last week, voting by 280 votes to 10 in favour of the bill with one abstention.
The legislation is now expected to be approved by the country's Senate, making Mexico the second country after the UK to pass a dedicated Climate Change Act and the first developing economy to deliver legally binding emission reduction targets.
The bill is broadly similar to the UK's Climate Change Act and will require future government's to meet periodic emission reduction targets with the end goal of cutting carbon emissions 50 per cent by 2050.
It includes additional targets requiring the government to cut emissions by 30 per cent by 2020 and ensure that 24 per cent of electricity is generated from renewable sources by 2024.
The Act will also provide the government with the power to introduce new renewable energy incentives, phase out fossil fuel subsidies, and potentially introduce emissions trading mechanisms.
The move was welcomed by green group WWF, which predicted that the new law could help establish Mexico as a template that other emerging economies can follow.
"This is great news from Mexico and a really important step in the fight against climate change," said Keith Allott, head of climate change, WWF-UK.
"It's all the more significant because Mexico is set to become one of the world's biggest economies, but is not a rich country, with some 40 per cent of the population living in poverty. Yet its government and Congress can see that ending poverty and growing the economy will be that much harder unless they cut greenhouse gas emissions and embrace renewable energy.
"It also shows once again the global significance of the UK and Scottish Climate Change Acts; the UK has taken a bold lead on this issue and other countries are now following us," concluded Allott.