Not much has come of the climate conference in Cancun, I hear. But not far from there, Mexico City just passed a historic climate change bill aimed at regulating greenhouse gas emissions and creating a carbon market.
Just one city? Well, technically yes, but that one city is home to 20 million people. It is the 3rd largest city in the world (or, is basically tied with Seoul, South Korea for 2nd). It’s actions with regards to this matter are huge.
“This landmark legislation shows real leadership in curbing global climate change,” Jennifer Haverkamp, managing director of the Environmental Defense Fund’s International Climate team. ” Let’s hope it inspires those gathered here on the Yucatan coast to follow their example.”
Mexico City’s assembly members showed overwhelming support for the legislation, 50 of the 66 members voted for it. The bill was fast-tracked through the legislature so that it could be voted on last Thursday (November 2, 2010) in the middle of the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun.
Here is some more info on the bill via the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF).
- establishes an inter-agency climate change commission for Mexico City
- creates a climate change fund that will be used for mitigation and adaptation efforts
- regulates greenhouse gas emissions
- authorizes the city government to impose “green taxes” and create financial incentives for environmental benefits
- creates a domestic carbon market in Mexico City, which will support the climate change fund, the city’s Program for Climate Action, and other activities included in the law
Without clear international action on climate change and similar limbo on the national level of many countries (ahem,.. the U.S.), the proactive work of cities and regions is critical to addressing climate change. It is good to see places like Mexico City stepping up to the matter.
EDF also notes: “Last month, the Mexican state of Chiapas and the Brazilian state of Acre joined California in an historic achievement to curb climate change through reducing deforestation, agreeing to form a Working Group to promote efforts on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) at the state level.” In the U.S. we also have some Western states teaming up to address climate change through the Western Climate Initiative and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has been tackling climate change for over two years in the Northeast U.S.
Nonetheless, we need nations and the international community to get on board more, so, hopefully, sooner rather than later they will get the climate action buzz from places like Mexico City and will cooperatively tackle this pressing topic.
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Photo Credit: Felixe via flickr (CC license)