Days until the election: 73
Hang on! There’s big news in this post, but don’t forget to click on the Luck & Death banner, above.
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Okay, on to Green Mexico…
Not only did the green in the Mexican flag just get a little greener, so did the coutry’s future, which is what this site is all about.
Mexico’s Chamber of Deputies has passed legislation by a huge margin — 280 for, 10 against — that will have a profound effect on the country’s role in minimizing environmental degradation. The proposed law now only requires Senate approval.
The law will oversee the creation of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, a public organism decentralized from the Federal Public Administration. Six social counselors represented by the scientific, academic and technical community with experience in climate change will manage the institute.
The General Climate Change Law’s objective will be to reduce carbon emissions by 50% by 2050, and ensure that 35% of Mexico’s electricity comes from renewable energy sources by 2024. Also, the law will ensure the reduction of fossil fuel subsidies in order to make renewable energy more competitive against oil, gas and coal.
The British newspaper The Independent puts the coming law into an international perspective, saying it:
… should go some way to assuaging two of the main concerns of those opposed to the Government taking vigorous action on climate change – that developing countries are failing to curb their own emissions, and that Britain is alone in requiring measures against global warming by law.
The Independent also notes that the size and rapid growth of the Mexican economy — themes that Once and Future Mexico has dealt with here and here — will give the law a particularly large impact which can only increase with time.
It also notes that Mexico’s move runs counter to the widespread notion that growth in countries with significant poverty must compete with environmentally responsible industrial policies:
It passage would be particularly significant both because Mexico has one of the world’s biggest and fastest growing economies – it is, at present, the 11th largest in the world and is expected to be the fifth by mid-century – and because some 40 per cent of its people are still very poor; its leaders are taking the view that both growth and poverty reduction will take place faster if greenhouse gas emissions are cut and renewable energy increased.
A WWF video celebrating the new law is embedded below.