In a joint statement, President Barack Obama and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto underscored the importance of jointly addressing climate in the integrated economy of their two countries. Smart action on climate change and developing clean energy can drive economic growth, according to the leaders, and “bring broad security, health and development benefits to the region.”
The statement noted, “The two countries will seize every opportunity to harmonize their efforts and policies towards their common climate goals. The two countries will launch a new high-level bilateral clean energy and climate policy task force to further deepen policy and regulatory coordination in specific areas including clean electricity, grid modernization, appliance standards, and energy efficiency, as well as promoting more fuel efficient automobile fleets in both countries, global and regional climate modeling, weather forecasting and early alerts system.”
To determine which country would chair this important interagency task force, the leaders took to the mats lucha libre style at the urging of President Obama. The rights to televise the wrestling match between the two presidents were sold to pay-per-view. Lucha libre (free wrestling) is a term used in Spanish-speaking countries for a type of professional wrestling that has millions of fans.
“Task forces, clean energy policies…these things cost money to implement,” noted President Obama. “We needed to cover our costs and besides, many people find discussions about climate change boring or ‘too scientific.’ We though a wrestling match would get their attention.”
Added President Pena Nieto: "Did you even read our joint statement on U.S.-Mexico climate policy cooperation? Snoozefest! BORING! "
Thanks to some creative moves by President Obama, the United States almost came out on top. But a great defensive strategy by President Pena Nieto resulted in a draw. As a result, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Mexcio Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources Juan José Guerra Abud jointly will chair the task force, which will hold its first meeting this spring.
The task force also will look to advance its work program through the Clean Energy Ministerial that Mexico is hosting on May 27-28 and related initiatives. Both countries also commit to enhanced cooperation on air quality and climate policy, including harmonization and implementation of heavy-duty diesel and light-duty emission standards, common programs to reduce reliance on HFCs and technical cooperation on black carbon.
(Don’t forget to check the date! Happy April Fool’s Day!)