Mexican Oil Company Pledges Greenhouse Gas Reductions
by Cat LazaroffPetróleos Mexicanos, the world's fifth largest oil and gas company, has become the first Latin American company to publicly announce it is taking steps to reduce greenhouse gases. Pemex joins eight other multinational corporations in the Partnership for Climate Action, a collaboration organized by the U.S. conservation group Environmental Defense to combat global warming.
The program announced by Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex) includes a six month, internal, company wide emissions cap and trade program to cut carbon dioxide emissions to one percent below 1999 levels. Pemex also committed to announce its 10 year carbon dioxide target by the end of this year.
"Saving energy reduces costs, makes Pemex more competitive, helps to preserve our natural resources, and allows us to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases, uniting the company in the common effort of people, other companies and countries that are looking to mitigate and reduce the implications of climate change," said Pemex director General Raul Munoz Leos.
Pemex followed oil companies BP and Shell, energy company Suncor, chemical company DuPont, the electric utility Ontario Power Generation, and the world's second and third largest aluminum companies, Alcan of Canada and Pechiney of France, in setting internal targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Each company in the Partnership for Climate Action has already set a firm target for greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The targets will result in an annual reduction of at least 80 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2010. Each company also agrees to measure and publicly report its emissions.
Environmental Defense, who helped organize the corporations into the Partnership for Climate Action, says the companies' combined emissions equal those of Australia or Spain.
"Environmental Defense believes in the value of 'learning by doing,'" said Environmental Defense executive director Fred Krupp. "We applaud Pemex for taking an emissions cap, the first step in learning how to measure, manage and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions."
"Part of the responsibility of being a world class company is taking steps to address global problems such as climate change," added Krupp. "By establishing a long term greenhouse gas reduction program, Pemex is demonstrating such leadership."
Pemex is the sole organization responsible for developing Mexico's hydrocarbon reserves, which are ranked among the 10 largest reserves in the world.
During the first phase of its program, Pemex will use an internal emissions trading program to make greenhouse gas reductions of one percent below 1999 levels. At the end of this first phase, Pemex will finalize its 10 year target and begin the second phase of the cap and trade program. Under a cap and trade approach, Pemex will set an overall limit on emissions of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide - the limit will then be assigned to its four subsidiaries. The facilities within those subsidiaries will be free to choose how to meet their assigned limit and can either make the reductions directly or acquire them from another facility that has made extra reductions.
Pemex said it believes that it will find the lowest cost emission reductions through the cap and trade approach, a view shared by Environmental Defense's Krupp.
"The Partnership for Climate Action shows that companies can cut greenhouse gas pollution while continuing to provide products to customers and profits to shareholders," said Krupp. "The goal is to share learning and highlight the value of solid, market oriented rules, which will encourage even more companies to step forward and reduce pollution."
The above article was distributed by the Grassroots Media Network.
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