Mexico is poised to adopt a voluntary climate change law - The "General Law on Climate Change."
It breezed through the upper house in December with an overwhelming majority and passed the Senate easily yesterday. President Calderón will sign the law - he has made addressing climate change a national priority.
Mexico ranks #11 in terms of greenhouse gas emissions and is experiencing its worst drought in 80 years.
The bill sets a national goal of cutting emissions 50% below 2000 levels by 2050, requires the government to cut emissions 30% by 2020, and targets 35% of electricity from renewable energy by 2024.
Although voluntary, the bill sets the stage for long term policies to meet the targets. It establishes a permanent, high level Inter-secretarial Commission on Climate Change with the power to formulate and implement national policies, and establish and regulate a carbon market.
It has the power to introduce renewable energy incentives and to phase out fossil fuel subsidies.
The bill creates a climate fund to collect and channel resources for initiatives that cut emissions and for adaptation.
It sets requirements for mandatory emissions reporting and the creation of a public registry that makes emissions transparent from power generation and use, transport, agriculture, stockbreeding, forestry and other land uses, solid waste, and industrial processes.
And it includes goals for states to reverse the trend of deforestation.
In January, President Calderón signed a formal agreement with the US to "advance towards a green economy" - Mexico Global Climate Change Program, a five-year, $70 million, program. The funding is for "quick-start financing for specific climate change actions, specifically reducing emissions and conserving forests.
Passing the climate change bill is considered one of the "non-controversial measures" being passed before July 1 national elections.
Mexico is one of eight countries to receive a $350,000 grant from the World Bank to assist in the design and implementation of a carbon market. Chile, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Indonesia, Thailand, and Turkey are developing "Market Readiness Proposals" which lays out how their cap & trade market will work. 15 countries in total will receive this funding.