Policy LeadershipPresident Felipe Calderón
President Calderon has been a strong voice for the environment on the world stage since his election in 2006.
He has been praised for his stewardship of international climate change negotiations – most recently as host of the UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, last year. The Cancun talks resulted in several new initiatives and institutions, including the strengthening of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanisms and the creation of a Green Climate Fund, which will manage long-term finance mobilized to enable developing countries to address climate change.
“Confidence is back”, announced Calderon at the 3am conclusion of the climate talks, symbolising what was widely hailed as a significant step forward in climate negotiations after the disappointment of the Copenhagen conference in 2009.
Closer to home, President Calderon has made clear his ambition to make Mexico a world leader on climate action.
Under its Special Climate Change Program, Mexico will replace nearly 2 million refrigerators and air conditioners, and more than 47 million incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps or other more efficient lighting technologies, by 2012.
Mexico made the unilateral commitment through its Special Climate Change Program (PECC) to reduce 51 million tons of CO2 by 2012 - the equivalent of all the GHG emissions generated by all the vehicles that circulate in Mexico City in four and a half years.
Mexico has also been a strong advocate of using forest resources to mitigate climate change. At present, the conservation of 2.4 million hectares of forest ecosystems incorporated in the Payment for Environmental Services Program, is guaranteed. The Special Climate Change Program mitigation goal of incorporating 1.5 million hectares to the Payment for Environmental Services program and thus preventing the release of 2.2 million tons of CO2 or its equivalent into the atmosphere, has already been achieved.
Reforestation programmes in the country are set to add another three million hectares by 2012.
"If we can find a formula that allows us to simultaneously fight climate change and poverty, we will have cleared the path to be followed by humankind”, said President Calderon at the Champions of the Earth ceremony in New York. “That route exists and we must explore it together."