Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto this week presented a National Climate Change Strategy aimed at developing “green growth” in the country.He said that the plan was based on eight axes of action, as well as the basic goals of increasing research, promotion of environmental issues and international cooperation. The eight axes are reducing vulnerability to climate change; decreasing the vulnerability of production systems; increasing the capacity of ecosystems to adapt to the effects of climate change; accelerating clean energy; reducing energy consumption; transitioning towards models of sustainable cities; promoting better agriculture and forestry practices; and reducing emissions of short-life pollutants.
The government will gradually begin to remove subsidies for electricity and water, so that rates for these services reflect real costs, including the environmental damage involved in their provision, Peña said.
He said the federal government would require energy pricing that uses a life cycle analysis, taking into account emissions of greenhouse gases. There will still be compensatory measures for vulnerable groups, however, he said.
In addition, new rules will soon be published on reducing carbon emissions in new cars, and a Commission of Environmental Quality will be created for the center of the country.
Peña called on Mexicans to care for the country’s natural biodiversity, and to not lose it through “carelessness or negligence.”
The climate change strategy was presented at the inauguration of National Environmental Week in Mexico.
According to a government document on the new strategy, a Mexican Network of Climate Modeling diagnosis found that 27 million Mexicans in 1,385 municipalities are at risk from the effects of natural disasters. These risks including phenomena from flooding and landslides to heat waves, reduced food production from lack of rain, and increased disease transmission.
The study also found that 1,202 municipalities are at risk due to drought, and 1,020 due to heat waves.
Environmental damage costs the country 7 percent of its GDP, while barely .6 percent of GDP currently is generated through green technologies.
The climate change strategy agreement is available in Spanish here.