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Mexico’s climate law under threat as car efficiency measures eased

By John Parnell

The new Mexican government has eased back on tight new vehicle efficiency measures in an attempt to avoid a legal challenge from carmakers that threatened its ambitious climate change legislation.

Rules requiring new cars to reach 35 miles per gallon were on the table following up on the country’s ambition carbon reduction measures announced last year.

Legal action proposed by Toyota and other car makers threatened to upend this popular legislation but a compromise allowing manufacturers to average results over a longer period has appeased them.

The decision will concern campaigners who believe the new government run by Enrique Peña Nieto has no interest in implementing Mexico’s ambitious climate legislation.

Vehicle efficiency standards could also help Mexico’s air pollution problems. (Source: Flickr/kc_aplosweb)

Last year Mexico pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emission by 30% by 2020 and 50% by 2050 and established a renewable energy drive.

Fernando Bribiesca Federal deputy and congressman in Mexico, told RTCC that it was likely the government would try to backtrack on this agreement, but said the widespread support for the climate law in the Mexican Congress would make this difficult.

“It could be interesting to see the new government implementing the law. They’re trying to work more on economic development, which implies using more carbon and extracting more oil but all parties are united on this so,” he said.

“If they [the government] ignore it we will need to raise the level of debate. Politics is often about conflict. It got support from all parties so politically it wasn’t difficult, the problems are with implementation.”

RTCC Video: Fernando Bribiesca on the future of Mexico’s ambitious climate laws

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