Mexico addressing GHG emissions despite no Kyoto obligation
World Business Council for Sustainable Development release
December 7, 2005
Montreal, 5 December 2005 – Mexico, a country that has no emission reduction obligatons under the Kyoto Protocol, is acting on its own to assist companies in managing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The experiences of the Mexico GHG Program, a voluntary, national GHG accounting and reporting program were discussed and challenged at a side event co-hosted by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Mexican Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMRANAT).
“The Mexican perspective is that unless you are ready to measure, evaluate, calculate and monitor, you cannot control any environmental aspect,” said SEMRANAT representative Fernando Tudela Abad, explaining the government’s involvement in the program. Identifying cost-effective GHG reduction opportunities and potential inclusion in emissions trading schemes are important motivations for Mexican businesses to participate, he added.
WRI President Jonathan Pershing agreed noted the benefits to companies of participating in the program.
“One thing that happens as companies move forward in identifying emissions is that they also identify opportunities, they identify energy savings,” he said. “Energy has a significant cost, and the lower your energy cost, the more profitable your company is.”
Abad remarked that there are many methodologies to deal with inventories at the national scale, but “if you are a business, you do not have any support.” SEMRANAT found that the WRI/WBCSD GHG Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard was the best tool to support business in accounting and reporting GHG emissions. The ministry also established the Mexico Greenhouse Gases Voluntary Program in partnership with the WRI and the WBCSD in August 2004. Twenty-seven public and private companies have been participating in the first phase of the program, which is the first of its kind in a non-Annex I country. To date, eight companies have submitted their inventories, and more are expected by the end of 2005.
Lorenzo González Merla from Altos Hornos de Mexico, a steel company, illustrated the benefits of private sector participation in the program, reporting that the Mexican steel industry estimates its GHG emissions at 16.9 million tons. Since the steel industry uses more than one-fifth of the total energy produced for industrial purposes, it is highly interested in potential savings and has already identified possible reductions of about 5 percent, Merla said.
“The importance of getting ahead of the curve in understanding, measuring and reporting emissions has been very widely understood”, noted Laurent Corbier, Director of the WBCSD’s Energy and Climate project. He revealed that the second phase of the Mexican GHG program will focus on emissions reductions projects, adding further value to the participating companies.
Paula DiPerna, Executive Vice President of the Chicago Climate Exchange was inspired by the protocol.
“If this had been done in 1985 or 1972, we would at least be 35 or 40 years forward on the challenge of mitigating climate change,” he said, congratulating the WBCSD and the WRI for the incredible visionary action of developing the protocol.
This story includes a modified news release titled “Mexico takes the upper hand on emission reductions” from the World Business Council for Sustainable Development.