Mexico agrees to expand climate goals by 2022, foreign minister says

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (centre) and US climate adviser John Kerry in Palenque, Chiapas State, Mexico, on Oct 18, 2021.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (centre) and US climate adviser John Kerry in Palenque, Chiapas State, Mexico, on Oct 18, 2021.PHOTO: AFP PHOTO / MEXICO'S PRESIDENCY

MEXICO CITY (REUTERS) - Mexico has committed to expanding its climate change goals by 2022 following a visit by US climate adviser John Kerry, Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said on Tuesday (Oct 19).

Mr Kerry was in Mexico on Monday to meet with his counterparts ahead of the United Nations' COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, which neither President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador nor Mr Ebrard is expected to attend.

Mr Ebrard, speaking at a regular news conference, said Mexico would keep its pre-existing goals at COP26, but committed to more ambitious targets next year.

"I insist not on setting objectives that correspond to other governments, but starting now to increase our goal, our commitment as a country, and try to accelerate the pace," Mr Ebrard told reporters, without offering further details.

By 2030, Mexico, has pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22 per cent. Latin America's second-largest economy is also a participant in a global initiative to reduce methane emissions.

The United States and Mexico will work together to accelerate the goal of reducing emissions, Mr Ebrard said, adding that exploring options for financing the "green economy" would also be a priority.

Mexico's Foreign Ministry said Mr Obrador's government will work closely with the US to accelerate the deployment of renewable energy in Mexico, including wind, solar, geothermal and hydroelectric power, to strengthen its commitments under the Paris Agreement.

Mexico, the second-largest greenhouse gas emitter in Latin America, has faced criticism over its current policies. Climate Action Tracker, a research coalition, says the country's policies put it on a path to "rising, rather than falling, emissions and are not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement's 1.5 deg C temperature limit". 

Mr Obrador has touted his signature tree-planting programme as one of the "most important reforestation projects in the world", which he said will help tackle carbon emissions, combined with efforts to revitalise hydropower projects.