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Mexico City slashes greenhouse gas emissions; on track for 2012 target

Mexico City slashes greenhouse gas emissions; on track for 2012 target

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Mexico City has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 6.28 million tons since 2008, keeping it on track to reach its goal of 7.7 million tons by next year.

The government of Mexico City announced on Monday that the city has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 6.28 million tons since 2008, keeping it on track to reach its goal of 7.7 million tons (officially 7 million metric tonnes) by next year.

The milestone is the latest in the city's wide-sweeping (and aptly named) Green Plan ("Plan Verde"), which covers an array of systems including transportation, energy and water conservation, solid waste management and air quality.

Here's a breakdown of how it got this far:

  • The transport sector accounts for 44 percent of total GHG emissions in Mexico City. It was able to reduce its footprint by 5.3 million tons thanks to a massive expansion of the Metrobus system, the replacement of 84,000 high-emission microbuses and taxis, the development of "Zero Emissions Corridors," the deployment of the Ecobici bicycle sharing network and the construction of a new Metro subway line.
  • Reforestation efforts and forest fire prevention helped the city reduce GHG emissions by another 670,000 tons.
  • Improvements in energy conservation reduced emissions by another 202,000 tons.
  • The separation of organic and non-organic solid waste added another 140,000 tons of emissions reductions (primarily CO2 and methane). The December closure of Bordo Poniente, one of the world's largest solid waste facilities, will further reduce this area's impact on overall city figures.

The pressure is on for Mexico City mayor Marcelo Ebrard, who as chair of the World Mayors Council on Climate Change must talk the talk and walk the walk.

In a video, here's a look at the scheme:

For more information, check out Mexico City's Climate Action Plan (.pdf).

Photo: Ecobici

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Andrew Nusca

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Andrew Nusca is editor of SmartPlanet and an associate editor for ZDNet. Previously, he worked at Money, Men's Vogue and Popular Mechanics magazines. He holds degrees from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and New York University. He is based in New York but resides in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter. Disclosure