Lawmakers Hear How Binational Partnership is Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

California Energy Commission Chair Robert Weisenmiller testified at the state capitol that California’s approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions is having an impact across the southern border.

California represents only 1 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but its leadership demonstrates that it is possible to take action to reduce carbon emissions and grow the economy. California has special standing with Mexico, including a 2014 agreement signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and the Mexican Ministry of Energy Secretary Pedro Joaquin Coldwell.

The agreement promotes cooperation between the two governments to implement programs in low-carbon energy, clean technologies, biofuels, and energy efficiency.

At Tuesday's legislative hearing, Weisenmiller said there have been several positive outcomes, including a visit to the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute at the University of California at Berkeley that resulted in a $10 million contract from Mexico to support workforce training. The Energy Commission also has held multiple workshops, including a meeting to discuss technical issues about solar and geothermal development in the border region.

Weisenmiller said there are significant opportunities for California companies to develop partnerships to build projects in Mexico. Next steps will include identifying potential large-scale renewable energy projects near the border creating jobs for California and exploring expanding the Energy Imbalance Market to include parts of Mexico. The Energy Imbalance Market enables greater use of renewable energy, which helps decrease dependency on carbon fuels and stem the increase of greenhouse gas emissions.

The Energy Commission also hosts delegations from all nations to share California’s pioneering and innovative energy policies.

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California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission is the state's primary energy policy and planning agency created by the Legislature in 1974.
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