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Those who pollute must pay to mitigate climate change

Countries that pollute with the emission of greenhouse gases must pay the costs destined to combat climate change, said Beatriz Bugeda, director for Mexico and Latin America of The Climate Reality.

On the occasion of the 11th Latin American and Caribbean Carbon Forum (FLACC) held this week in the Mexican capital, Beatriz Bugeda said that “the polluter must pay”.

“The one who is emitting greenhouse gases and polluting the atmosphere – which causes global warming – has to be responsible for those costs,” said Bugeda director for Mexico The Climate Reality, an organization created by the Nobel Peace Prize, Al Gore, United States Vice President.

The main international and public sector actors in climate change mitigation participated in the international forum to assess the challenges of pricing carbon pollution.

We also evaluated the opportunities for transition to a low emissions economy for industry, sustainable cities, technology, energy; land, air and sea transport, among others.

“The principle is simple: to put a price on pollution to account for the impact of greenhouse gas emissions from economic decisions made by both producers and consumers,” says the Coalition of Leaders for Price Fixation to the Carbon (CPLC).

“The idea of ​​these instruments as the tax is to discourage the use of more dirty fossil fuels and to make a transition to renewables,” said Bugeda.

“Carbon prices are intended to send the right signal for the behavioral changes that are required to start reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” he added.

In order to comply with the international commitments adopted in the Paris Agreement, which sets out measures to reduce by 22% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the High Level Commission on Carbon a minimum price of 40 to 80 dollars per ton of carbon emitted and 2030 of 100 dollars by 2020.

CPLC reported that in 2015 governments raised a total of $ 26 billion from carbon pricing.

From 2013 to 2015, California (US) spent 500 of the $ 900 million from carbon payments on building rail networks between cleaner cities, renewable energy in housing, wetland and forest conservation projects, efficiency water, among others.

In Mexico, since 2014, there is already a carbon tax set “between 3 and 3.5 dollars.”

“The citizen does not know that he already pays a carbon tax, it is a small tax but the federal government is getting good income … about 17,000 million pesos (850 million dollars),” said Bugeda.

The Mexican government will launch on October 30 “a simulation exercise on the Mexican Stock Exchange with more than 90 companies that have already registered, to learn how the mechanism works and how they can trade carbon credits eventually,” Bugeda added.

“Mexico is betting on this path and in that sense it is a country that is being innovative in the region,” he explained, as it will be the first pilot program implemented in Latin America.

Bugeda reiterated the importance of incorporating civil society in the process because for this type of economic instruments to succeed “there has to be social acceptance (…) and see the benefits directly.”

“China already sees it with the decrease in pollution in their cities, which means benefits in environmental health and consequently in human health,” he concluded.

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