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Calderon takes over G-20 nations leadership

November 13, 2011

President Felipe Calderon will assume the leadership of the G-20 and head a summit of the world’s most powerful leaders next year in the popular coastal resort of Los Cabos, Baja California.

The meeting of the 20 foremost heads of state will be held on June 18 and 19, less than two weeks before Mexico’s presidential election on Sunday, July 1. Calderon will formally assume the presidency of the G-20 – which rotates on a yearly basis – in December.

Next June’s meeting in Los Cabos will be “a success,” Calderon predicted in a press conference at last week’s G-20 summit in Cannes, France. “Believe me, Los Cabos is a little warmer than this place, there is plenty of sun, if you want to experiment with solar energy.”

Tackling both climate change and the euro debt crisis, the president announced that Mexico will host a “frank dialogue” ahead of the summit in Los Cabos, including virtual conferences with heads of state.

“I hope that before the next meeting of the G-20 they have already taken decisions in Europe that we all know are essential to resolve the crisis of the euro, isolate the effects of this crisis and prevent the systemic contagion of other economies, and from there, drop the Greek debt which is quite simply unpayable,” affirmed Calderon.

The president urged European countries to follow the example of Mexico, which, facing the economic crisis of 2008, asked the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for special dispensation to withdraw 72 billion dollars to “mitigate any doubt about the strength of Mexico’s finances.”

Los Cabos will reserve 11,000 hotel rooms for the G20 summit, while the Mexican government will invest over 47 million dollars in the development and promotion of the event. The government will construct a new, 653,400-square-foot convention center to house the G20 meetings.

Designed to accommodate over 6,000 people, the convention center will be designated a “green” facility, equipped with solar panels and built with energy efficiency in mind. Construction is due to begin this week.

Calderon considers climate change a major priority of international negotiations. At the Cannes conference last Thursday he urged Washington and Beijing to agree to curb the release of greenhouse gases to ensure the success of United Nations climate talks in South Africa later this month.

“An agreement between the U.S. and China is absolutely required,” Calderon said. “It is important, crucial for mankind that the world’s largest economy and the world’s largest emitter make a formal commitment.”

Calderon said economic crises should not overshadow the need to curb carbon emissions, and urged developed and emerging economies to step up green investments.

“We need to fix at the same time the financial crisis and the environment crisis,” he argued. “All the measures that we can take to promote a greener economy are cheaper than the cost of climate change,” he added, pointing to the droughts and hurricanes that have affected Mexico this year.

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