President praises legislators for working across party lines to pass law
President Felipe Calderón of Mexico has formally signed the decree enacting Mexico's General Law of Climate Change. The law advanced by GLOBE Mexico enters into legal force following landslide votes in the Senate and Chamber of Deputies.
The legislation commits Mexico to reduce GHG emissions, avoid deforestation and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The law passed as a result of an extrodinary collaboration between legislators from all the main parties in both the Senate and Congress. It was not until a breakthrough meeting of GLOBE Mexico screened live on national TV that leaders from the parties in both chambers and the authors of four different competing drafts of legislation agreed to work together to advance a single climate change law. Members of GLOBE Mexico from both chambers then played a key role in convincing their counterparts for the need for the legislation. There then followed two landslide votes in the Senate and one in the Congress which resulted in the law passing to the President.
At the official decree signing ceremony at the Presidential Palace, President Calderon said: "I should congratulate legislators, and publicly affirm that is possible to overcome political party´s differences and reach agreements".
The President affirmed that the new law will allow Mexico to have a legal framework to face the challenges posed by climate change saying: "To continue with the fight, a legal framework was indispensible, and that is why I enact this decree of the Climate Change Law. With this, Mexico is put at the forefront. The law implements treaties to which Mexico is a party."
In the new legal framework, new responsibilities are provided to the National Institute of Ecology that will change into the National Institute of Ecology and Climate change, and a climate change Council is created. Mexico also commits itself to mitigate GHG up to 50 % by 2050.
President Calderon further said: "The law commits to a reduction of 30 % by 2020 and 50 % by 2050, below 2000 levels."
The law will also allow the creation of a Climate Change Fund and paves the way for a low emissions economy, discouraging the use of fossil fuels and promoting the creation of a sustainable public transportation system.
The National Risk Atlas will also be ready for 2013, that will be used for land planning and for developing programs of urban development that take into account climate change adaptation.
Concluding President Calderon said: "This is a modern piece of legislation. Climate change is a challenge that requires an answer and all countries have differentiated but common responsibilities. Mexico more than complies with its share of responsibility. Mexico has assumed the commitment of a green growth with low emissions. Mexico is a key actor in the fight against climate change. I do a tribute to legislators for this law that puts Mexico at the forefront".
GLOBE Secretray General, Adam Matthews, said: "President Calderon rightly congratulates Mexico's legislators. Just months from Presidential and Congressional elections legislators have come together across all political parties and in the national interest to unite behind climate change legislation. Mexico has demonstrated its leadership and the international community should recognise this effort. There now exists an even greater responsibility on developed nations to deliver the financing and domestic mitigation to match Mexico's efforts."