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BECC supports border planning to address climate change impacts

Posted on May 26, 2011

BECC supports border planning to address climate change impacts

“BECC is working along the border region to address climate change, which has been evidenced by temperature variations caused by human activity,” said BECC General Manager Maria Elena Giner during her participation in the Ninth Meeting of the Air Policy Forum held on May 9th in San Antonio, Texas.

Active participation of BECC General ManagerThis event was part of the activities of the seventh meeting of the National Coordinators of the U.S.-Mexico Border 2012 Environmental Program, which drew over 200 people and was held from May 9, and 11, 2011.

The meeting of the Air Policy Forum was presided over by Coordinators Ana Maria Contreras, from Mexico’s Secretariat of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and Sue Stendebach, from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Maria Elena Giner reported that BECC has contributed, in coordination with the EPA, the National Institute of Ecology (INE), and the Center for Climate Strategies “to the development of State Greenhouse Gas Inventories,” that have been available since October 2010. These inventories, Giner said, “are based on the principles of transparency, coherence, and consistency and their results are compatible…”

For Maria Elena Giner, these inventories “promote planning and foster the development of regional and binational policies…” in addition to “showing emissions by sector in each state, which provides niche opportunities in each of them, and represents a significant advancement for the development of State Climate Action Plans (SCAPs) that are already underway,” she stated.

Sue Stendebach and Ana Maria Contreras, Binational Coordinators of the Air Policy ForumIn her remarks, Sue Stendebach highlighted that, after listening to the results of the regional groups that are part of the Border 2012 Air Policy Forum, a review has been made of the objectives that will be recommended for the 2012-2020 successor program.

Ana Maria Contreras presented the impact in Mexico because of imported used vehicles from USAAna Maria Contreras announced that a National Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions for the base year 2005 is already available and will be presented soon by the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources, Juan Rafael Elvira Quesada. “This is a significant step forward…” as it shows emissions by mobile and fixed sources throughout the country, and it will be complemented by the State Inventories.” This is a dynamic tool that will be updated every three years, and it will help to design public policies, establish programs and priorities, and develop air quality modeling, noted Contreras.

INE’s incoming President, Francisco Barnes, recognized the work of the BECC, as it has promoted, with assistance from the EPA, the development of SCAPs in the border states. In Dr. Barnes’ opinion, these “are basic planning tools to address climate change.”

Mr. Barnes reported that four SCAPs have been completed thus far, and the goal is to complete the 32 plans before the end President Felipe Calderon’s term, he said. This is, in his opinion, “an effort that decentralizes the process and furthers cooperation among institutions, as is the case along the border, where participation has been secured from the Center for Climate Strategies, the BECC, the EPA, SEMARNAT, and INE to support the plans, which are are a critical input for national planning in this field.”

Dr. Barnes said that INE supports the states in the development of SCAPs by strengthening their capacity and knowledge, as well as by facilitating climate change scenarios and managing national and international funding. He said that “the work is aligned, and INE is looking for common methodologies that can be replicated.” He recognized the great progress made by the border area by preparing the Greenhouse Gas Inventories, and he reported that the six states are working on their respective SCAPs.

Finally, Dr. Barnes underscored the ongoing cooperation with different agencies that support this national planning effort, including the BECC, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation, the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Mexican Government through its National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT).

Other reports were presented at the Air Forum Policy meeting, including some about the importation of used vehicles from the United States, which have exceeded four million in number between 2005 and 2011, with a considerable increase so far this year. A progress report was presented on the Clean Transportation program, which Ana Maria Contreras considers “one of the priorities where varied actions and policies must come together.” Her counterpart, Sue Stendeback believes that “there is still much to do, and this is something that we have to promote as part of the successor program.”

Francisco Barnes, President of the Mexican Institute of Ecology, participated at the 9th Meeting of the Air Policy Forum




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