California Joins Mexico in Clean-Energy Pact 

Bloomberg BNA — California and Mexico have signed a bilateral pact aimed at advancing cross-border investments in clean energy.

Signed July 29 by California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and Mexico's Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquin Coldwell during the governor's trade visit to Mexico City, the agreement calls for the two governments to work together in developing and deploying renewable energy, biofuels and other clean energy technologies.

The agreement also includes a commitment to explore integrating Baja California Norte into the California energy market and to support expanded markets for clean and energy-efficient technologies, including manufacturing and transportation.

“By this agreement, we intend to work together to dramatically increase solar, wind and other renewable investments,’’ Brown said in a written statement.

On July 28, Brown signed a similar memorandum of understanding with Mexico's Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Rodolfo Lacy and the Mexican National Forestry Commission Director General Jorge Rescala Perez to cooperate on policies to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Mexico, California ‘Strategic Partners'

“Mexico and California have a long and rich history of environmental cooperation, and recognize each other as strategic partners in coping with climate change challenges and protecting and preserving our natural resources,’’ Lacy said in a July 28 written statement. “The agreement signed today will take our joint work to a whole new level of cooperation, which will reflect in tangible and concrete results that will inure to our mutual benefit.’’

Under the climate MOU, the governments will work to align their greenhouse gas reduction programs and strategies; collaborate on fire emergency response along the border and other climate adaptation strategies; improve air quality; strengthen fuel and truck efficiency standards; and support green freight initiatives.

California also will share with Mexico its experience in developing a carbon emissions trading program and other market-based climate policies and work to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, according to the climate pact.

“California can't do it alone and with this new partnership with Mexico we can make real progress on reducing dangerous greenhouse gases,’’ Brown said in a July 28 written statement.

Effort to Learn From Each Other

Natural Resources Defense Council's Ann Notthoff, who is part of the broad delegation traveling with the governor, said the climate pact is an opportunity for California and Mexican to learn from each's efforts to curb pollution.

“This California-Mexico agreement is exactly the type of international collaboration we need to combat the global threat of climate change,’’ Notthoff, NRDC's California advocacy director, said in a written statement.

The energy and climate agreements are similar to the two other pacts Brown has signed committing California to cooperate and advance climate policies.

In 2013, the governor signed an agreement with other West Coast states and British Columbia to form the Pacific Coast Collaborative.

Brown also signed a pact with China's National Development and Reform Commission to collaborate on climate and air quality policies.

All the MOUs focus on information sharing, joint research, joint seminars and workshops and building capacity and technical support to develop and implement climate change policies.

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