Mexico to Voluntarily Cut Emissions, Australia Replaces Solar Rebates

Mexico plans to voluntarily reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by about 8% by 2012, according to a Reuters report. 

President Felipe Calderon said Friday his country, which is the second largest greenhouse gas emitter in Latin America, will cut emissions 50 million tons through the use of more efficieny power plants and cars, and through reductions in gas leaks and flaring by the oil industry.

Reuters reported that Mexico’s emissions jumped 25% in 2008, due to increased natural gas flaring and venting by the state oil company Pemex, which lacks necessary infrastructure to handle natural gas at its major oil fields. 

Pemex reportedly burned off more than 1.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day in 2008–enough to serve more than 3.5 million U.S. homes.

As a developing nation, Mexico is not required to limit its greenhouse gas emissions under the current Kyoto Protocol.

Australian Solar Rebate Program

Australia announced that it will replace its existing Solar Homes and Communities Plan (SHCP) with a new solar credits program.

The change is part of legislation released today for the expanded Renewable Energy Target (RET), which calls for the nation to receive 20% of its power from renewable sources by 2020.

The legislations, when approved, will replace an A$8,000 rebate with a system of credits.

The SHCP program has been extremely successful since the Rudd Government came into office, creating a pipeline of 80,000 rooftop solar systems to be installed and jumpstarting the industry.

However, the industry was caugh offguard by the announcement that no new rebate applications would be accepted, according to the Sydney Morning Herald

The government reportedly has spent more than five times as much as was originally allocated to the rebate program to respond to explosive demand. 

Read the full report below.

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