Mexico’s President Felipe Calderon announced that Mexico will voluntarily cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 50 million tons a year by 2012 through the use of more efficient cars and power plants as well as reductions in gas leaks and flaring by the oil industry, reports Reuters. The cut represents approximately 8 percent of the country’s emissions, according to the environment ministry.
Mexico, the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Latin America, accounts for about 1.5 percent of the world’s emissions of greenhouse gases with the country’s state-run oil industry as a major emitter, reports Reuters.
Emissions grew 25 percent in 2008 to 54.9 million tons due to increased natural gas flaring and venting, according to state oil company Pemex. The company is working to reduce flaring to 3 percent of gas production this year by installing new gas handling capacity and plans to spend $2.4 billion through 2012 to cut emissions from offshore platforms.
In April, President Barack Obama and Mexican President Felipe Calderon agreed to a new partnership to fight climate change and promote environmentally-friendly forms of energy production. Mexico also recently proposed a global climate change fund with each nation paying in based on their population, gross domestic product and greenhouse emissions as an alternative cap-and-trade system favored by the European Union and the U.S.
Supporting Mexico’s plans to protect the environment, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim recently launched a $100-million green project through a joint partnership with the Mexican government and the World Wildlife Fund to protect Mexico’s environment, reports Google news.
The goal is to foster sustainable development.
The project targets six key regions, which represent 30 percent of the country and funding from both the public and private sectors will later increase, said Mexican Environment Secretary Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada, reports Google news. The regions are the Gulf of California, the Chihuahuan desert, the Mesoamerican Reef, Oaxaca, the Monarch Butterfly Region and Chiapas, including the Lacandona Forests and El Triunfo reserve.