Mexico and California will work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, combat climate change and wildfires along the border, improve air quality by spurring adoption of clean energy technologies, stronger fuel efficiency standards and supporting “green” freight initiatives, according to a pact signed July 28 by California Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. and leaders of Mexico's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Mexican National Forestry Commission.
The climate change and clean tech cooperation agreement is the latest in a series of cross-border ventures California has initiated. California has established similar cooperative agreements with Oregon and Washington State, as well as with British Columbia and China's National Reform and Development Commission (NRDC). Additionally, California Air Resources Board has been working with Quebec to harmonize their respective carbon offset credit, aka cap-and-trade, programs. Commenting on the new bilateral climate ties, Gov. Brown stated, “California can't do it alone and with this new partnership with Mexico we can make real progress on reducing dangerous greenhouse gases."
Cooperating to combat climate change
The California-Mexico climate change-clean tech cooperation agreement takes the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by Gov. Brown, Mexico's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Rodolfo Lacy and Mexican National Forestry Commission Director General Jorge Rescata Pérez.
"Mexico and California have a long and rich history of environmental cooperation, and recognize each other as strategic partners in coping with climate change challenges and protecting and preserving our natural resources,” Undersecretary Lacy commented. “The agreement signed today will take our joint work to a whole new level of cooperation, which will reflect in tangible and concrete results that will inure to our mutual benefit."
As elaborated in a press release from the Governor's Office, the cooperative agreement spans a wide range of activities, including:
- Aligning greenhouse gas reduction programs and strategies;
- Collaborating on fire emergency response along the border and other climate change adaption strategies;
- Improving air quality, including reducing pollution and expanding markets for clean energy technologies; and
- Strengthening fuel and truck efficiency standards and supporting green freight initiatives.
Added Mexican National Forestry Commission Director General Rescate Pérez:
"In line with the priorities of the Mexican Government for the forestry sector, the Memorandum of Understanding signed today with the State of California lays down the conditions and excellent opportunities for mutual cooperation to strengthen our capacity to prevent and respond to forest fires, a key issue in our common border."
Gov. Brown signed the MoU on the first full day of leading California's Trade and Investment Mission to Mexico. Besides cooperating to combat climate change, spur clean technology and address forest fires, the mission aims to boost bilateral trade and investment between Mexico and California more generally while at the same time broadening and deepening environmental collaboration and cooperation. The governor is also to address immigration via meetings with religious and civic leaders from California, Mexico and across Central America.
*Image credits: 1) SFGate 2) Fox Business News