Mexico will launch its carbon offset market in 2017 and will pursue a link to interconnected schemes in California, Quebec and Ontario, said Rodolfo Lacy, Mexico’s undersecretary for environmental policy and planning, according to Quebec’s environment minister.
“Mexico announces establishment of a carbon market in 2017 and linking to markets in Quebec-California-Ontario!” David Heurtel tweeted following Lacy’s speech on Wednesday at the opening day of the Climate Summit of the Americas in Toronto.
Mexico introduced a $3.50/tonne carbon tax on fossil fuels in 2014, and will at some point allow emitters to buy and sell CERs from CO2-cutting projects within the country and surrender them for compliance in place of paying.
No further details were available but Lacy’s comments likely referred to linking the offset trading portion of Mexico’s climate programme with the three schemes to the north, which are themselves connected via the Western Climate Initiative (WCI).
Lacy in April told an emissions trading conference in LA that Mexico was mulling a direct link to the WCI, and the proposals for this appeared to suggest this would mainly involve exporting offsets.
Mexico’s tax and offset scheme forms part of its efforts to reduce GHG emissions by 30% below BAU levels by 2020, and halving 2000 levels by mid-century.
Those goals are enshrined in national law passed several years ago, which drew Mexico praise for becoming one of the first developing nations to adopt comprehensive climate change legislation.
Separately, in its INDC submitted to the UN earlier this year Mexico pledged to cut its emissions by at least 25% below BAU levels by 2030.
It also offered to deepen this goal to -40% provided a global climate agreement is reached that addresses various issues including an international carbon price, carbon border adjustments, technical cooperation, access to low-cost financial resources and technology transfer.
“GET WITH IT”
Separately, Quebec’s Premier announced at the Toronto summit that his province would join a subnational movement to cut GHG emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050.
Philippe Couillard said his province would join the so-called Under 2 MOU compact of 17 states and regions from four continents.
Quebec launched its carbon market in 2014, while Ontario – Canada’s most populous province – is currently designing its own scheme and will publish the details towards the end of the year.
Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne organised this week’s North American climate summit to build political momentum amongst the continent’s leaders ahead of December’s UN climate talks in Paris.
Amongst the attendees are California Governor Jerry Brown, former Mexican President Felipe Calderon and former US Vice President Al Gore.
“We at the lower level, the subnational level, want to do what we can to light a fire under our respective national leaders to get things moving,” Brown said at a joint press conference to open the meeting.
Asked if he had a message for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and US Republicans in Congress, all of whom have been accused of obstructing more ambitious national action against climate change, Brown answered: “Yeah. Get with it.”
“Canada has a long way to go, as does the United States, as does everybody … It’s not about pointing fingers because we’d have to point to ourselves.”
By Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org