New Scientist: [Michael Marshall ]Europe is doing it, Brazil is doing it, and now Mexico is doing it too. The country has passed a package of laws committing it to act on climate change. It is only the second developing nation to set greenhouse gas emissions cuts in the letter of the law.
The package promises to cut the country’s emissions by 30 per cent below “business-as-usual levels” by 2020 – meaning 30 per cent below what they would be without any intervention – and by 50 per cent below 2000 levels by 2050. It is part of a slow trend for nations to tackle climate change on their own, in the absence of a United Nations treaty to cut emissions beyond 2012.
Since 2008, Mexico has been the world’s 11th largest emitter. “For a long time developing countries have been reluctant to commit to targets,” says Niklas Höhne, director of energy and climate policy at Ecofys in Cologne, Germany. “To see a country as important as Mexico passing a law is very encouraging.”
It’s not alone. In 2010, Brazil passed its National Climate Change Policy into law, promising to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 36 per cent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels.
That’s not to say the UN process is pointless, says Höhne, as these actions are largely knock-on effects of the international negotiations.
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