The US EPA joined with the US/ Mexico Chamber of Commerce, the Border Environment Cooperation Commission, Mexico’s Environmental agency, the Secretariat for Environment, Natural Resources and Fisheries, to announce the agreement at the U.S./Mexico Binational Commission meeting in Mexico City.

The Principles call on the business and trade communities to step up pollution prevention measures, energy efficiency, overall environmental performance, public accountability and investment in local sustainable development at all operational locations throughout the two countries.

Corporate officials and front line managers would commit to the principles at all levels and employ a range of tools, such as environmental management systems and environmental auditing, with companies having flexibility in how to use these tools.

The intention is to ensure that the Principles become integral parts of a company’s culture. The Principles are the cornerstone of a new binational public/private strategic alliance to promote sustainable development throughout both countries, in particular in the border region, as called for in the Border XXI Environmental Framework. The goal is to demonstrate that sustainable development, a clean environment and free trade are consistent and compatible.

The US and Mexican environmental agencies and the US Agency for International Development also reached agreement to co-operate on global climate change, including updating inventories of US and Mexico’s greenhouse gas sources and sinks (places where such gases collect), analysing the economics of greenhouse gas mitigation and reporting to the High-Level Contact Group on Climate Change.

The countries’ environmental agencies also announced an agreement on participation in the US/Mexico Border XXI Program by US and Mexican border states and US tribal nations on the border. The agreement set the stage for increased state/tribal/federal collaboration in protecting the border environment.

Preparedness and response to environmental emergencies in the border area are the focus of a US/Mexico Joint Contingency Plan also signed at the Binational Commission meeting. It establishes mechanisms for rapid response to chemical accidents in the border area.

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