Mexico Adopts Standards to Measure Global Warming Gases

Two-year partnership will develop a voluntary reporting platform for Mexican businesses, following the internationally accepted Greenhouse Gas Protocol

Published: 26-Aug-2004

Mexico today launched a new partnership that makes it the first country to adopt internationally-accepted standards to measure and report business greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for establishing a voluntary national program.

The partnership, called the Mexico GHG Pilot Program, was launched with the signing of an agreement between Mexico’s Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales or SEMARNAT), the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).

“This program will provide tools and training to Mexican businesses, helping them to apply accounting approaches to quantify GHG emissions, identify GHG reduction opportunities, and attract new technologies and investments,” said Ing. Alberto Cárdenas Jiménez, secretary of SEMARNAT.

The two-year partnership will develop a voluntary reporting platform for Mexican businesses, following the internationally accepted Greenhouse Gas Protocol developed by WRI and WBCSD. It hopes to assist businesses in Mexico to prepare GHG inventories, identify GHG reduction opportunities, and participate in programs to reduce emissions, while at the same time benefitting corporate bottom lines, reducing local air pollutants, and mitigating global climate change.

“While many industries throughout the world have adopted the GHG Protocol, Mexico is the first country to adopt it,” said Jonathan Lash, WRI president.
“In the absence of international leadership in tackling climate change, Mexico has taken the lead in showing what can be done to mitigate global warming.”

The Mexico GHG Pilot Program will be coordinated by SEMARNAT with technical support from WRI and WBCSD. During the first phase of the program, running through December 2004, the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard will be adopted to design a customized accounting framework for the program, taking into account local conditions and needs, including training of Mexican experts. Implementation will begin in January 2005 and end by Nov. 30, 2006.

The partners believe that the successful implementation of the program will serve as an inspiring example for other countries in the region and world wide to consider adopting similar capacity building initiatives towards mitigation of climate change.

“Mexico’s adoption of the GHG Protocol is a significant step to the further standardization and harmonization of GHG accounting and reporting frameworks worldwide,” says Björn Stigson, president of WBCSD. “We hope other countries will also use the GHG Protocol.”

The GHG Protocol, first launched in 2001, has become the most widely used global standard for corporate accounting of greenhouse gas emissions. It was developed by over 500 experts from businesses, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and governments. It has been adopted by over 150 companies, including industry associations representing pulp and paper, aluminum, and cement, and enjoys the support of NGOs and governments alike.

Numerous climate initiatives, including reduction programs, trading schemes, environmental standards, and registries have based their measurement and reporting guidelines on the GHG Protocol. This includes the US EPA Climate Leaders Initiative, Global Reporting Initiative, the WWF Climate Savers Program, California Climate Action Registry, World Economic Forum Global GHG Register, the UK Trading Scheme, the Chicago Climate Exchange, and the monitoring protocols of the EU Trading Scheme.

Mexico ranks as the 14th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, and is second only to Brazil in South America. In 2000, according to WRI’s Climate Analyses Indicators Tool, GHG emissions in Mexico equaled 1.4 tons per person, compared with 6.6 tons per U.S. citizen and 1.3 tons per Brazilian.

Resources for the Mexico GHG Pilot Program are provided by SEMARNAT, WRI, WBCSD, and the US Agency for International Development.

The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources or SEMARNAT is a federal government agency that formulates and implements Mexico’s environmental protection policy, with the aim of reversing ecological deterioration and establishing the bases for sustainable development in the country.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a coalition of 175 international companies united by a shared commitment to sustainable development.

The World Resources Institute is an environmental research and policy organization that creates solutions to protect the Earth and improve people’s lives.

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