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Mexico ups target for cutting emissions, boosting renewables

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (AP) — Mexico announced Saturday it’s raising its target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions and boosting the rollout of renewable energy, though it remains a regional laggard on climate action.

Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said Mexico would aim to reduce emissions by 35% compared to doing nothing by 2030. That’s up from an unconditional pledge of 22% cuts it had made two years ago.

To achieve this goal, Mexico will double its investments in clean energy over the next eight years, expand protected forest areas, boost electric car use and reduce methane emissions from its natural gas industry.

Ebrard announced the new target alongside U.S. climate envoy John Kerry on the sidelines of the U.N. climate talks in Egypt.

“This is a huge, significant shift from where Mexico was last year in Glasgow,” Kerry told reporters, adding that it was the culmination of lengthy bilateral work.

He noted that Mexico has “extraordinary availability of sun, extraordinary availability of wind power,” while ending gas production flaring would help the country save an estimates $1.7 billion dollars.

Unlike many national climate targets, Mexico’s does not define cuts in relation to a specific baseline year but compared to what’s project under a “business as usual” scenario.