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Mexico a leading nation in the green-living movement

More people are biking in Mexico to help cut down on carbon emissions.

When Latinos send money to Mexico, they are transferring money to a country that’s increasingly becoming a global leader in environmental sustainability.

According to Bloomberg, Mexico is one of a handful of countries that has made significant strides toward improving the world’s environment by passing legislation that help reduce the carbon footprint nations leave behind from everyday living.

In a recent statement emailed to the news source from the Globe International Alliance of Lawmakers, Mexico was listed as one of 33 countries that’s made considerable headway toward cutting carbon production and increasing the efficiency of man-made technologies such as industrial products and vehicles.

Christiana Figueres, a United Nations diplomat, said that real change can only came through policy and Mexico – along with other industrialized nations – helps make this change a reality.

“The clean revolution we need is being carried forward by legislation,” said Figueres, according to Bloomberg. “Domestic legislation is critical because it is the linchpin between action on the ground and the international agreement.”

The Globe International Alliance of Lawmakers additionally noted that of all the nations that made environmental improvements to policy last year, Mexico serves as a “standout country.” Among the initiatives taken include creating a law that requires companies to reduce carbon production by 30 percent between now and 2020.

Other nations that the Globe says made significant headway in improving environmentally friendly standards in 2012 were Australia, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Chile and El Salvador, Bloomberg reports.

Traffic major contributor to carbon emissions
Mexico hasn’t always held the distinction as being among the nations most environmentally responsible. According to a 2011 report in National Geographic magazine, residents of Mexico’s capital – Mexico City – described the commute there as one of the “most painful” they’ve ever experienced, primarily due to the significant number of traffic jams, accidents and carbon dioxide emissions from running engines.

But in the short time since then, the country’s capital has been awarded with the Sustainable Transport Award from the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy.

Walter Hook, chief executive officer of the ITDP, said that the improvements observed in the past 12 months in Mexico City are as stark as night and day.

“Mexico City was like a patient sick with heart disease, its streets were some of the most congested in the world,” said Hook. “In the last year, Mexico City extended its great Metrobus BRT system straight through the narrow congested streets of its spectacular historical core, rebuilt public parks and plazas, expanded bike sharing and bike lanes, and pedestrianized streets.”

He added that Mexico’s capital city is once again a vital part of the country’s future growth and development.

Recent previous winners winners of the Sustainable Transport Award include Medellin, Colombia; San Francisco in the U.S.; Guangzhou, China and Ahmedabad, India.

Some of the most impressive elements of Mexico City earning the award – in addition to the more environmentally sustainable laws that have been put in place in Mexico at large – stem from how densely populated the country and city is. Approximately 115.2 million people live in Mexico, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, and 20 million of that total live in the city’s capital. And as the Christian Science Monitor points out, one out of every four Mexico City residents owns a car.

Yet despite this, officials are confident that the Mexican people will commit to environmentally sustainable living practices, accomplishing the goal of a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020.

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