Following the signature of the Treaty between Mexico, the United States of America and Canada (T-MEC), the Promulgatory Decree of the Environmental Cooperation Agreement between the Governments of Mexico, the United States of America and Canada, signed by the three countries in 2018, was published on July 15, 2020, in the Official Gazette of the Federation (“Agreement”).
Since the entry into force of the USMCA on July 1st, the Agreement replaced the North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation (NAAEC), signed in 1994 in parallel with the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in order to protect the environment.
The primary objective of the Agreement is to strengthen the cooperation between the parties to preserve, protect, and improve the environment, as well as to reinforce compliance with environmental laws. To this end, the Agreement provides for the continuation of the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (“Commission”), an intergovernmental body originally created for the implementation of the NAAEC, which will continue in operation.
One of the most important responsibilities of the Commission is to define a work program aimed at:
- Strengthening environmental governance through effective implementation of environmental laws.
- Reducing pollution and supporting low-emission economies.
- Preserving and protecting biodiversity and habitats.
- Promoting the management and sustainable use of natural resources.
- Supporting green growth and sustainable development.
For the formulation of the Work Program, the Commission must consider the commitments included in the Environment Chapter of the USMCA, as well as promote public participation in the development of the activities and projects under the Program.
The Agreement provides that, in case of withdrawal of any of the signatories, it shall remain in force for the remaining parties. In turn, parties may invite other States to join in.