Mexico, California Enhance Cooperation on Climate Change

california-mexico-flags28 July 2014: The Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and its National Forestry Commission and the State of California, US, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on enhancing cooperation on climate change and the environment. The objective of the MoU is to promote bilateral actions in the areas of climate change, forest wildfires, air quality and clean transport through 2018.

The MoU was signed in Mexico City on 28 July 2014, during a Californian trade and investment mission to Mexico. Describing the two states' long history of environmental cooperation, Rodolfo Lacy, Under-Secretary at Mexico's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, said the agreement would strengthen the existing cooperation between the two parties, with "tangible and concrete results that will inure to our mutual benefit.”

Recognizing the opportunities to combat climate change and protect the environment between the state of California and the Government of Mexico, and the importance of strengthened cooperation, the MoU focuses on promoting environmental cooperative activities in the areas of climate change, wildfires, air quality and clean vehicles.

On responding to climate change, the MoU outlines forms of cooperation and coordination of efforts including: reporting and reducing greenhouse gases (GHGs), including exploring alignment of GHG reductions programmes and strategies to achieve mutual benefits; developing and implementing carbon pricing systems and other market-based instruments; promoting renewable energy and emissions reductions from deforestation and forest degradation; and controlling high global warming-potential gases and short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs) through performance standards.

On reducing vehicle emissions, particularly in shared air basins, the signatories aim to: strengthen vehicle standards for GHGs, nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and particulate matter; set common standards; support ‘green freight initiatives,' including fleet retrofits and renovation; and analyze the amount of used vehicles imported to Mexico in non-compliance with emission standards.

The MoU also specifies possible forms of cooperation, including: information-sharing on climate change policies and programmes; capacity building and technical support for developing and implementing climate change policies, including emissions trading programmes; policy and programme alignment; personnel exchanges; and joint events. The signatories also declare their intent to develop a Joint Action Plan in order to achieve the objectives of the MoU, and annual work plans in the four priority areas of cooperation. [State of California Press Release] [Press Release by the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (in Spanish)] [MoU on State of California's Website]