29 May 2007 - 09:26
  • News Code: 105815

Mexico promised to plant 250 million trees this year and ban old trucks and buses from the roads as part of a plan launched on Friday to fight global warming.

President Felipe Calderon, handing out trees at a ceremony to promote his national climate change strategy, said there would be cleaner gasoline, more wind energy and more use of solar power in houses, especially in Mexico’s sun-baked north.

“The fact that other big countries are not disposed to take on the responsibility and continue to damage the environment must not be an excuse to feign ignorance of our own responsibilities,“ Calderon said.

Mexico is one of the major developing nations that will take part in a global warming summit in Germany early in June.

The United States has rejected Germany’s bid to get the Group of Eight to agree at the meeting to tough cuts in carbon emissions which cause global warming.

Mexico has many environmental problems, including massive illegal logging, old buses and trucks that belch black smoke into the air and pollute cities. It also uses huge amounts of fossil fuels as a major oil producer.

The Mexican plan wants to take off the roads all buses and trucks that are 10 years old or over from next year and to plant 250 million trees in 2007.

Calderon, a former energy minister, also said he wanted to bump up Mexico’s wind power generation by tenfold. Mexico has a naturally windy zone in the south of the country where wind farms already exist.

The plan also hopes to increase independent power generation and co-generation alongside the state oil and gas monopoly Pemex.

Calderon said cleaning up public power companies and making them more efficient was an integral part of the plan. He said Pemex and electricity companies CFE and Luz y Fuerza should clean up their acts.

“Unfortunately I am fully conscious that perhaps our biggest challenge is in our own government-owned companies,“ Calderon said.

Global warming is blamed mainly on fossil fuels and deforestation. Rising world temperatures have brought more deadly hurricanes, droughts and floods, experts say.

 

PIN/ ALERTNET.ORG

 

News Code 105815

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