Mexico pushes for transparency in carbon emissions reporting

DURBAN, South Africa (30 November, 2011)_Mexico will publicly release an independent review of their carbon accounting data in under two months, leading by example as the first developing country to deliver transparent data on their emissions, said Dr Fernando Tudela, the country’s Vice Minister for Planning and Environmental Policy.
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Energy production, such as this coal power plant, makes up approximately a quarter of Mexico's total carbon emissions. Photo courtesy of Glennia/flickr.

DURBAN, South Africa (30 November, 2011)_Mexico will publicly release an independent review of their carbon accounting data in under two months, leading by example as the first developing country to deliver transparent data on their emissions, said Dr Fernando Tudela, the country’s Vice Minister for Planning and Environmental Policy.

The success of effective international systems to address climate change – such as the forest preserving scheme REDD – will depend on a country’s capacity to deliver strong, credible, and transparent systems for tracking greenhouse gas emissions. Preliminary data from the reviews are already revealing areas for improvement, said Dr Tudela at a side event of the UN climate summit in Durban yesterday.

“We have already noticed information from one of our targets – petroleum – is clearly wrong, which the verifiers were not happy with,” he said. “But if we want to hold others responsible for their emissions, we have to start with ourselves.”

Mexico’s bold commitments to fighting climate change are well known, being one of the first developing countries to set a voluntary carbon reduction target at the UN climate summit in 2008. Under their current Special Program on Climate Change, Mexico aims to reduce carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2050.

The verification process addresses concerns from developed countries including the EU to improve the integrity of Kyoto Protocol with robust emission-cuts accounting. Better and more transparent data will also help countries to have confidence in future climate agreements and there is concern that, without effective emissions verification, false reporting may fuel ‘rent-seeking’ behaviour in poorly governed countries.

According to the World Bank’s Governance Indicators, Mexico ranks in the bottom half of countries that are able to effectively control corruption, but Dr Tudela asserts that the Mexican government are willing to run the risk of “getting a few red lights” from independent verification body Det Norske Veritas (DNV) who is conducting the official review.

“We are not afraid of undertaking this verification. We already have a Mexican verification system in place but we [have not yet got] maturity in this system so we sought independent verification,” he said.

DNV will release their first official report on Mexico’s MRV reporting in mid-January 2012. The information will be publicly available.

For other reports from the event, visit the blogs of these organizations:
The Center for People and Forests (RECOFTC)

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