Mexico Emission Reduction Challenges

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Leading Emission Reduction Challenges: (a) Rising consumer and/or industrial demand for energy-intensive products and services; (b) Dependence on fossil fuels as energy sources; (c) Problems implementing climate change policy and programs


Current Greenhouse Gas Emission Levels

Mexico’s level of greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 was 748 million tons of CO2 equivalents (MtCO2e), according to the last official publication presented by the Mexican government to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2012. Although in recent years there has been a decrease in emissions—as shown in Mexico’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, or INDC—in a Business As Usual scenario, the current greenhouse gas emission growth rate might take those levels up to a billion tons of CO2e by 2020.

Emission Reduction Challenges

Mexico faces two main barriers for further greenhouse gas emission reduction: (A) Its reliance on fossil fuels, which has increased along with urban expansion and economic development, (B) Rising energy demand, and (C) A government crisis linked to a lack of transparency, accountability, and the correct implementation of the law.

  1. Energy production in Mexico relies heavily on fossil fuels. Milestones such as the creation of a General Law on Climate Change (2012) and the approval of the Energy Transition Law in 2015 emphasize the need to transition to a renewable energy framework for development, but other laws like the ones developed after the Energy Reform of 2013 promotes the persistent use of fossil fuels.
  2. Even the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Rafael Pacchiano, declared before the COP21 that energy demands in the country will grow so much that we will not be able to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels on the medium term. If Mexico can solve the issues associated with point B, and sticks to the guidelines proposed in its climate change National Strategies and Plans, it may be able to address these barriers.
  3. Mexico’s lack of transparency and accountability in all levels of government makes it difficult for climate change national goals to be enforced. This is reflected in a shortage of implementation and surveillance mechanisms and clear actions that will help to comply with the Paris Agreement pledges the country has made. This is a harder step to take, since recent efforts by citizens to demand accountability and transparency from government representatives have been rejected by the same officials, for example like the 3of3 Law proposal signed by 630 thousand Mexicans.

–Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Raiza Pilatowsky Gruner

Useful Resources

Mexico’s level of emission:



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