TIPPING THE CLIMATE CHANGE SCALES

TIPPING THE CLIMATE CHANGE SCALES image

Emilio Camacho, Esq. is Chief of Staff to Commissioner David Hochschild at the California Energy Commission, where he is responsible for managing the office in the areas of renewable energy, research and development of technology, energy efficiency, and power plant siting. 
 

Emilio Camacho, Esq. is Chief of Staff to Commissioner David Hochschild at the California Energy Commission, where he is responsible for managing the office in the areas of renewable energy, research and development of technology, energy efficiency, and power plant siting. He oversees all legal, legislative and policy matters, administrative functions and manages staff for the Commissioner’s office.

In addition, Emilio serves as an Advisor to Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller on California-Mexico Issues and to implement the California-Mexico Energy MOU signed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and the administration of Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Prior to joining the California Energy Commission, Mr. Camacho served as an Attorney at the California Office of the Legislative Counsel, providing legal advice to the Members of the Legislature and the Governor of California, in the areas of energy, environmental  law, public utilities, water law, and public resources.

At the local level, Emilio serves as Chair of the Berkeley Energy Commission; as a Commissioner for the Community Environmental Advisory Commission at the City of Berkeley; and as a Board Member for Rising Sun Energy Center. Emilio earned a Philosophy A.B. from the University of California, Davis; a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of California, Davis School of Law; and an Energy and Emerging Technologies Professional Certificate from Stanford University.

2017 will go down in history as a tipping point when it comes to climate change. At the climate conference in Paris, 196 nations—including the U.S. and China—signed a global agreement aimed to limit the earth’s temperature rising to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and 1.5 degrees as an “intended” goal.

These types of global efforts had consistently failed in the past but now we finally set the global stage to work collaboratively towards a clean, sustainable and affordable future. The new economy will be a clean economy if we can maintain this global commitment. Before Paris, however, many states and municipalities had begun to address climate by implementing significant goals. In California, this effort is called the Under2 MOU and it continues to grow strong. This effort replicates the climate policies that have worked for California in other places.

The Under 2 MOU is a policy advanced by Governor Brown to address climate change on a global scale, by focusing on subnational territories. To date, 167 jurisdictions have signed or endorsed the Under 2 MOU, collectively representing six continents and 33 countries with a total population of approximately 1.09 billion residents and a collective GDP over $25.9 trillion. If the signatories represented a single country, it would be the largest economy in the world in terms of GDP, even surpassing the United States. Essentially, California has established a massive partnership with local governments in other countries to develop meaningful solutions to address climate change. Among notable important partnerships is the one between Mexico and California. At the federal level, since 2013, Mexico has been working to implement an energy reform to reduce electricity rates in the residential, commercial and industrial sectors. The country has faced several barriers: limitations on private power generators; constraints relating to power transmission and distribution; organizational and financial challenges within its Federal Electricity Commission, the national utility; and limited access of renewable energy generators to transmission networks.

These challenges are similar to California’s experience and past struggles when it was growing its renewable energy portfolio, promoting a reliable grid and creating a clean tech economy. However, Mexico has continued to do a great job pushing forward and its renewable energy market has become one of the most promising in the world. Mexico has also become a climate leader and key partner to California. For example, with a population of more than 22 million and a serious air pollution problem, Mexico
City has signed the Under2 MOU agreement. With this step, the city has the opportunity to show that economic growth and a clean energy future can happen at the same time. In addition, the city has the opportunity to show that improving health and creating jobs can be done by creating alliances and adopting best practices.

Other individual states in Mexico are trying to push for clean technologies and innovative solutions during these reforms. They see a huge economic opportunity with clean energy. For example, the state of Jalisco has been working with California to promote a high penetration of renewables in the future of the state, similar to efforts in San Diego, a city that just committed to 100% renewable energy by 2035. To date, California has signed the Under 2 MOU agreement with 11 Mexican states.

The hope is to empower Mexican states, like California in the U.S., to successfully set a trend in Mexico in adopting aggressive climate policies ahead of the rest of the country in meeting GHG reduction targets, implementing
innovative climate change policies and growing their own clean economies. The importance of this Under 2 MOU partnership is that, if it works, it can become a postcard from the future to the developing world and ensure that the 21st century will offer a cleaner, healthier and more secure future.