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News: Seven climate plans towards Paris submitted – Mexico stands out over level of details provided

unfccc_logoAs the deadline for industrialised countries to submit their international climate pledges for the future climate treaty has passed, only seven countries have submitted their climate plans. While numerous high emitting countries, such as Canada, Australia, Japan and New Zealand failed to make submissions, Mexico was the first developing country to commit to climate action as part of the of the Paris agreement.

Mexico’s climate plans has two components: one for adaptation and another one for mitigation, which is divided between unconditional measures that Mexico commits to achieve with its own efforts, and conditional measures that will be implemented with the help of international cooperation. This means that Mexico will, no matter what, cut carbon by 22% by 2030 and has also agreed to peak emissions by 2026 – four years earlier than China has indicated in its plans that have not yet been submitted. The conditional elements include cutting greenhouse gas by up to 36% and up to 70% for Black Carbon by 2030.

As the only country so far, Mexico emphasises that this international cooperation will require fully functional bilateral, regional and international market mechanisms.

By far, Mexico beats the level of detail provided and process used towards preparing their climate plan as compared to the others submitted. For example, it states that multiple stakeholders were consulted during the preparation of the plans, including NGOs and private industry, through workshops and consultation meetings. The submitted plans also highlight that the planned climate policies and actions include a cross-cutting human rights and gender perspective and take into account women as important decision makers regarding energy consumption.

Other countries that submitted plans are the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, the United States of America, Russia and Gabon.

Gabon is the second developing country that has submitted climate plans. It plans to fund its adaptation and mitigation actions via the establishment of a National Climate Fund to channel funds from national budgets, private investments, international public finance and revenues from domestic market based instrument. Gabon also plans to operationalise a link with the Green Climate Fund soon.

While it was generally applauded for the US and Russia to come forward with a climate plan, the level of details of the Russian plans were criticised over its heavy dependency to use forest sinks to achieve its 2030 climate target of 20-25% reductions compared to 1990 levels, and that this is equal to its 2020 climate target.

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