Mexico, the second largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Latin America, committed to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 50 million tonnes a year by 2012, Mexico's president Felipe Calderon said today.

Calderon made the announcement as he commemorated the World Environment Day. The emissions cut is about 8 percent of the country's total emissions. Mexico accounts for about 1.5 percent of the world's emissions of these gases.

Due to its geographical position, Mexico becomes esential to cut the emissions of its two neighbors in North America, Canada and the United States, said Friday, Achim Steiner Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme.

Mexico said it more energy efficient cars and power plants will help to meet this goal, as well as the reduction of gas leaks and flaring by the oil industry, Calderon said.