California and Yucatán Consolidate Relationship to Combat Climate Change

May 11, 2018

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Sacramento, California, May 8, 2018. In order to establish agreements for Yucatán and California to continue their roles as global leaders in mitigating climate change, the Governors of both states held a meeting where their joint relationship was consolidated.


In a meeting with his counterpart from California, Jerry Brown, Rolando Zapata Bello proposed new actions to address climate change including a strategy to reduce GHG emissions, a special fund for research, and organic food production.


Governor Brown and Governor Zapata Bello


The meeting took place in the Capitol, where the leaders agreed on the great opportunity to consolidate global actions that lead to the conservation of tropical forests that have a potential to reduce four gigatons of GHG emissions, highlighting their collaboration as co-hosts of the 10th Meeting of the Governor’s Climate and Forests Task Force, which will be carried out within the framework of the Global Climate Action Summit in September, in San Francisco.


Yucatán and California discussed the progress of activities that Yucatán is carrying out in terms of mitigation associated with the conservation of tropical forests and actions for the sustainable energy transition of the state. They considered potential areas of collaboration that will allow the generation of better results within the framework of international initiatives such as the Under2Coalition.


Yucatán joined the Under2Coalition on October 31, 2015, which is now comprised of 205 subnational governments from 43 countries on six continents, representing a population of 1,300 million people and close to 40 percent of the global economy.


The main purpose of the Coalition is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050 in order to keep the global temperature below two degrees, the most relevant effort of nations aligned with the Paris Agreement, which includes states and regions such as California, New York, Ontario, Bavaria, Rio de Janeiro, Catalonia, Queensland, Manchester and Laikipia.


It was also noted that the work teams of the GCF Task Force continue to explore mechanisms to preserve forests and rainforests and consider future carbon market mechanisms.


Among other topics discussed, Yucatán presented actions to accelerate the transition towards a carbon neutral government, developed with the technical assistance of the international association Carbon Trust and the financing of the British government (Prosperity Fund), where the State has identified a reduction potential greater than 65 thousand tons of carbon dioxide (CO2e).


In terms of climate financing, Yucatan committed a seed capital of $200,000 dollars to create the Research on Climate Change in Tropical Regions Fund to facilitate the transfer of knowledge among the governments that make up the Under2Coalition.

Zapata Bello explained that Yucatán is a state proud of its social, economic and environmental achievements. Yucatan has invaluable natural wealth, since one fifth of the territory is under a type of protection, almost 80 percent is covered by tropical forest and it has the most important underground freshwater reserve in the country.


He explained that the state generates 10,866,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases, a number which they intend to reduce by 3.2 million tonness by 2030, supported by the  implementation of massive reforestation projects.


“As of today, Yucatán has an annual deforestation rate of approximately 25,500 hectares. With actions of conservation and forest plantations, we can reduce up to 1.2 million greenhouse gas emissions, “concluded Zapata Bello.


The forests of the Yucatán will play an integral role addressing climate change.