Carbon Emissions Cuts In Mexico: Country Plans To Lead Fight Against Climate Change In Developing World

Enrique Pena Nieto climate speech
Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto delivers a speech during the ceremony for the Declaration of Presidents of the Pacific Alliance on Climate Change matters at the U.N. Climate Change Conference COP 20 in Lima December 10, 2014. The two-week long United Nations climate summit opened on December 1 in Lima, with experts and analysts from around the world gathering to discuss melting glaciers and extreme weather patterns. Ban Ki-moon, expressed deep concern about slow action to combat climate change, told governments at U.N. talks in Lima on Tuesday there was no "time for tinkering" and urged a radical shift to greener economies. REUTERS/Enrique Castro-Mendivil

Mexico made history last week when it committed to unconditional cuts in carbon emissions, a move that could lead developing nations in the fight against global warming. Mexico, one of the worlds top-ten carbon emitters, pledged to cut emissions by 25%. The announcement is good news for the Obama administration which hopes to secure a global climate deal at a climate conference in Paris this December.

"We think this sets an incredibly important example for other major emerging economies," a White House official who was not authorized to speak on the record told The Huffington Post. "The timeliness, as well as the clarity, ambition, unconditional nature and strong policies that back it up -- all that sets the pace for Paris."

The unconditional part of the pledge is key to softening the conflict between rich and poor countries that has underpinned failed climate talks in the past. Developed countries reached prosperity in part by burning cheap fossil fuels, gaining individually but contributing to the shared burden of greenhouse-gas induced global warming.

Mexico’s decision could embolden other developing nations to take a stronger role  in cutting carbon emissions. It could pressure China, the world’s largest carbon-emitting country, to follow through on tentative commitments to cut back on coal and other fossil fuels. Mexico’s new targets build on a bill passed by its congress in 2012 to expand renewable energy production.

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