Spotlight Activity: Mexico’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy
Mexico’s National Strategy on Climate Change, or ENCC, is a planning mechanism which aims to guide national policies on climate change in the medium and long term. One of the four guiding principles of the ENCC is adaptation, which presents a diagnosis, three strategic axes and the proposed lines of action for each strategic axis.
The diagnosis presented in the ENCC shows Mexico’s disaster risk, resulting from the integration of climate related hazards (floods, landslides, droughts, yield decrease due to precipitation and temperature, heatwaves, and disease transmission); exposed infrastructure, settlements and assets; and the degree of social, health, agricultural, and livestock vulnerability. The ENCC clarifies that it lacks an evaluation of ecosystem vulnerability.
The document shows that 1,385 municipalities, concentrating 27 million people, have high disaster risk due to climate related events. More specifically, it concludes that risk will increase due to higher temperatures, which will cause more draughts, particularly in northern Mexico, and will heavily affect the livestock and agricultural sectors. Moreover, human health will also be highly impacted, with even more effects than floods or landslides.
Based on this diagnostic, the ENCC presents three strategic axes: 1) Decrease vulnerability and increase resilience of the social sector to the effects of climate change, 2) Decrease vulnerability and increase resilience of strategic infrastructure and productive systems to the effects of climate change, and 3) Ecosystem conservation, sustainable use, and maintenance of their environmental services. Each of these present a dozen or more lines of action.
It is possible to think of this strategy only as a link between the General Law of Climate Change and following federal, state and municipal policies. However, the lack of more guidance as to what to do for each line of action, like which branch of the government should implement it or where should the budget come from, is reflected on the resulting policies. Moreover, as President Peña Nieto’s government comes to an end, it’s difficult to know how much was accomplished, as there aren’t indicators proposed to evaluate the effectiveness of the strategy, nor any mechanisms to ensure that following governments keep working on the lines of action so the ENCC’s adaptation goals are met.
Status: Standing Still
Having a National Strategy that focuses on the implementation of Climate Change Law is a very valuable policy making instrument that can help the country achieve its adaptation commitments to the Paris Agreement. However, in the case of Mexico’s National Strategy on Climate Change, there is no way to know how much we have achieved regarding adaptation actions, how have they been implemented on every government level, and therefore, there is no way to know what has worked and what not. Following governments should take notice and establish more evaluation, verification and monitoring measures in order to be able to know what we need; and pay special attention to the information that we already have, like those settlements and activities at higher climate risk, so adaptation efforts are implemented as soon as possible.
During the following months, the current government should evaluate the results of this strategy and ensure that it continues as the new government takes office on December 1st. You can help ensure that this is done by contacting the Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources with the following Action Alert message. To take action, simply fill out your name and email in the form below and the message will be sent.
Your message will be sent to:
Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources- Rafael Pacchiano Alamán
Telephone: 54900900 Ext. 12000/12076/12001
Address: Ejercito Nacional 223,
Col. Anáhuac, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo,
Ciudad de México, México,
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