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 You are in: Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs > Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs > Releases > Other Releases > 2004

Joint Statement by the United States and Mexico Following the First Meeting of the Bilateral Working Group on Climate Change

Mexico City, Mexico
February 12, 2004

The governments of Mexico and the United States convened the first meeting of the Bilateral Working Group on Climate Change at the Mexican Secretariat for the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) in Mexico City on February 12, 2004. The meeting was conducted in response to the commitment by both governments to expand and intensify their existing bilateral efforts to address climate change.

Dr. Fernando Tudela, Mexican Undersecretary for Environmental Planning and Policy at SEMARNAT, José Manuel Bulás Montoro, Coordinator of International Affairs of SEMARNAT, and Dr. Harlan Watson, Senior Climate Negotiator and Special Representative of the U.S. Department of State, led the respective delegations.

The U.S. team included experts from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), Energy, and State, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the National Science Foundation. The Mexican team included representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Energy, and Environment and Natural Resources, as well as the National Institute of Ecology, National Forestry Commission, National University, and Colegio de la Frontera Sur.

The two sides discussed activities in the seven areas that were identified in the March 2003 U.S.-Mexico Joint Statement of Enhanced Bilateral Climate Change Cooperation: emission inventories, economic and climatic models, energy, adaptation, agriculture/forestry, earth observations, and carbon capture and storage. U.S. and Mexican representatives further discussed additional areas of cleaner energy production cooperation (hydrogen, renewable sources of energy, and energy efficiency), integrated environmental strategies, and carbon cycling. It was noted that the Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and SEMARNAT may provide an additional venue to address forest and agricultural resources.

Mexico and U.S. representatives reviewed ongoing cooperative activities and developed new and expanded activities. Examples of projects and activities included in this cooperative effort are:

  • Technical assistance to improve greenhouse gas inventories and economic-environmental models to assist decision-makers;

  • Development of potential projects in geologic sequestration to introduce to the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum;

  • Cooperation on development of integrated carbon cycle research building toward coordination through the North American Carbon Program;

  • Expansion of greenhouse gas sampling sites in North America to include locations in Mexico; and

  • A robust program of clean production initiatives, including activities designed to promote energy efficiency, and the use of renewable energy and hydrogen.

In addition to mitigation and research activities, the two sides will explore and consider opportunities for academic and government cooperation in the area of vulnerability and adaptation.

Mexican and U.S. participants agreed that periodic meetings would help to ensure continued close cooperation in addressing climate change. The U.S. will host the next meeting of the Working Group in the Fall of 2004.

Released on February 12, 2004

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