Green Economy Day for World Environment Day 2009 as Mexico Announces Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Cuts and Five New Protected Areas
Celebrations Link Emerging World of Clean Energy Generation with the Centuries-Old Mayan Caring for Nature and Natural Resources
Xcaret (Mexico) 5 June, 2009 - Echoing the 'Healing the Earth' ceremonies of Mexico's ancient Mayan civilization, President Calderón announced on World Environment Day (WED) his government's landmark plans to combat climate change alongside the establishment of new protected areas.
In a wide ranging speech, flanked by several key ministers including those from finance and the environment, the Mexican president said the country would voluntarily cut global warming gases by 50 million tones a year.
The announcement came as thousands of people around the planet celebrated World Environment Day, from remote villages to sprawling capitals. On every continent, children, companies, mayors and heads of state came together to unite to combat climate change under the banner of the UN event, heeding Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's call that Your Planet Needs You.
Events around the world ranged from the massive to the local: from a major tree-planting drive across India organized by Tata Motors to a concert in Ecuador, a recycling drive in Seattle, and an 'educational picnic' on real grass in the heart of the gothic old town of Torun in Poland, alongside painting competitions, neighbourhood clean-ups and a multitude of awareness-raising events.
President Calderón said Mexico – the host of the main WED '09 celebrations – would double this cut under its new Special Programme for Climate Change if the right kind of financing arrangements are in place—by some estimates the announcement equates to an eight per cent to 16 per cent reduction in the country's greenhouse gas emissions.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), said people from over 100 countries around the world were today sending a clear signal to their politicians and world leaders that action was urgently needed—Mexico had heard and responded to that call.