To stop ‘injustices’ Mexican legislators push Carbon Offset Regulation

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Mexican opposition lawmakers presented a bill Thursday that would regulate carbon offsets after President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador backed oversight of the burgeoning market in June.

The bill aims to protect rural Mexicans whose land is being used for carbon offsets, a goal sought by both the president and members of his political opposition. It would require all projects in the sector to join a public registry and to meet various standards for quality and fairness. Lopez Obrador, known as AMLO, said he was in favor of regulation in response to a Bloomberg News investigation published in June that showed oil giant BP Plc paid a fraction of the market rate for offsets to more than a dozen communities of Mexican subsistence farmers.

“We feel that there have been abuses and where there weren’t abuses there was no clarity,” said Eduardo Enrique Murat Hinojosa, a lower house deputy for the opposition Institutional Revolutionary Party, who authored the bill. “What this law aims to do is create an even ground so that here these markets, which are in trial and error all over the world, start to have clear rules.”

The investigation showed BP had paid $4 per ton per offset under an agreement signed in 2021, while as of June they were worth on average $12 to $16. A day after the investigation was published, government officials met with carbon offset standards bodies and called for a “just distribution of benefits.”

The proposed legislation aims to replicate the kind of “visibility” provided by Bloomberg’s reporting, but to extend it across the offset market as a whole, said Murat, a member of the lower house environment committee. “The trick is to give the legal framework teeth that can stop those injustices. Above all, it’s to protect.”

Under the bill, the environment ministry would create a set of standards, which would also aim to ensure the programs are saving as much carbon as they claim, and would use these to examine and approve each project. Murat said he hadn’t yet discussed the bill with lawmakers from the ruling Morena party but hoped it would win their support since Lopez Obrador has backed the idea and indigenous rights are central to the party’s ideology.

Source: El Financiero

Mexico Daily Post