The La Paz Agreement of 1983 was the first transnational agreement between the United States and Mexico to address the problem of transborder pollution caused by both countries. The agreement addressed urban air pollution and mobile pollution sources that were contributing to environmental degradation in congested areas along the border. It did this by setting up a cooperative network of air quality monitoring stations. Emissions reduction targets were set for smelters along the border, and air quality standards were implemented for border cities.

The outcome of the La Paz agreement may be viewed by some as slightly more effective than the MOI, though it is not without its shortcomings. A reduction in SO2 emissions by smelters on the Mexican side of the border can be directly attributed to the La Paz agreement. Ambient air quality is no longer affected by smelter emissions because of this reduction [14]. Much is still to be accomplished, however, especially in regard to mobile source emissions. Neither the San Diego-Tijuana nor the El Paso-Ciudad Juarez border cities have met air quality standards by the target date. Visibility in U.S. National Parks is still a concern as SO2 emissions from Mexico are contributing to the reduced visibility across the U.S. border. Again, the lack of an enforcement mechanism is cited as the major cause of this failure. Like the Eastern European States, Mexico lacks the financial resources to fully comply with the La Paz Agreement.

Negotiating Essentials

Negotiating Essentials

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