Spotlight Activity: Mexico Has an Outstanding Climate Data Collection and Reporting System, but It is Not Being Used Effectively by Policy-Makers
Since Mexico became a part of the UNFCCC in 1992, the country committed to climate change goals and negotiations through actions and modifications to its internal laws, looking to accomplish what the international agreements established.
Regarding climate data publication and sharing, Mexico has aligned thoroughly with what is stated in the Convention. For example, in its article 4, it calls for the parties to “Elaborate, update, publish and facilitate its anthropogenic emissions inventories” and to “Formulate, apply, publish and update regularly national and (if apply) regional programs with actions for climate change mitigation and to facilitate climate change adaptation”. In accordance with this, Mexico has adapted its national laws aiming to turn its international commitments into national obligations.
Therefore, the Mexican Climate Change Law, published on 2012, establishes the obligation to periodically publish national inventories, elaborated by the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC) which gathers the necessary information from the responsible authorities from the Mexican states and municipalities, such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food, the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation, the Ministry of Economy (SE), the Secretary of Energy (SENER), among others.
In compliance with the law and its international commitments, Mexico has submitted six National Communications, from 1994 to date, and two Biennial Reports to the UNFCCC.
The latest national inventory was released in 2018, it overlooks the period of 1990-2015 and includes all the requirements and recommendations from the Convention and the IPCC. Based on the inventory climate change policies are developed, such as the Special Climate Change Program and the NDC.
The six National Communication, also released in 2018, provides a general up-to-date overview of the effects and projections of climate change in Mexico, as well as actions carried out to reduce GHG emissions and to adapt to climate change. During the period it covered (1990-2015), Mexico promoted policies, strategies, and measures to reduce emissions, mainly in the energy sector. In 2013, the country began the so-called energy reform; as an integral part of this, in 2015 the Energy Transition Law (LTE) and the Electricity Industry Law (LIE) entered into force and, in 2016, the Transition Strategy to promote the use of cleaner technologies and fuels. Fiscal measures and market instruments were also adopted to promote the adoption of cleaner technologies -including a lax carbon tax- and a route was developed to create an emissions trading system (ETS). The future of these initiatives is not clear in the context of the new government, which took office in December 2018, and plans to revive the fossil fuel industry.
The elaboration of the inventory is supported by the collaboration of agencies of the Federal Administration, research centers, nationally-owned companies, as well as private sector organizations, such as chambers and associations, which provide updated information to the INECC. For its latest inventory, Mexico used the most recent IPCC Guidelines (2006), thus exceeding the reporting requirements for non-Annex I countries.
The inventory includes estimates of emissions by sources and sinks, for the four emission sectors defined by the IPCC:
 Industrial Processes and Product Use
 Agriculture, forestry and other land uses
It also reports on the six greenhouse gases (GHG) included in Annex A of the Kyoto Protocol.
According to its most recent inventory, in 2015, Mexico emitted 699,564.3 Gg of CO2 equivalent: This includes emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. The main emitting sector was the generation of energy, with 71 percent. Mexico emitted 446.3 million tons of CO2 from burning of fuel, which represents 1.38 percent of global emissions. In addition, Mexico emits 131,564 tones of black carbon, a short-lived pollutant. Between 1993 and 2015, Mexico increased its emissions by 57 percent. Indeed, country emissions are increasing, although with a slight deceleration; between 2010 and 2015, emissions increased 5 percent while its increase between 2005 and 2010 was of 12.9 percent.
Inventories have been constantly improved, becoming more complete and with a higher level of analysis. The results are compared and contrasted with international GHG accounting methodologies, such as the Country Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data (CAIT) of the World Resources Institute; the Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research (EDGAR) of the European Union; and the database developed by FAO.
Finally, there are some international sources that also contribute to Mexico’s having updated and accurate information regarding country emissions. One of these is Climate Watch, a portal where emissions and climate progress data can be found. Regarding Mexico, Climate Watch contains information about emissions by sectors and how the country contributes to the global total.
Status: Right Direction
Mexico has been recognized internationally for being an active country in pursuing climate commitments, knowledge-sharing, and presenting national climate change data. At a national level, there have been important efforts to compile and analyze essential information for decision-makers, with detailed inventories, broken down by state. However, this information must be used not only to comply with international commitments but to make better decisions and having stronger and more ambitious climate targets.
Mexico’s climate information is essential to the process of making better programs and policies that will contribute to the delaying of climate change. The NDC is still not compatible with the global goal of avoiding a temperature increase of 2°C. The information presented by the country must be the foundation to enhance national commitments, strengthening not only Mexico’s international role in climate negotiations, but also benefiting the country’s ecosystems, economy, biodiversity, and inhabitants.
Send Action Alert Message to:
Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources- Josefa González Blanco
Telephone: 54900900 Ext. 12000/12076/12001
Address: Ejercito Nacional 223,
Col. Anáhuac, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo,
Ciudad de México, México,
Director of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change- Amparo Martínez Arroyo
Director of Inventories and GHG Perspectives- Irma Fabiola Ramírez Hernández
- Mexico’s 6th National Communication to the UNFCCC: https://www.gob.mx/inecc/articulos/sexta-comunicacion-nacional-ante-la-cmnucc?idiom=es
- National Inventory of GHG Emissions: https://www.gob.mx/inecc/acciones-y-programas/inventario-nacional-de-emisiones-de-gases-y-compuestos-de-efecto-invernadero
- Climate watch: https://www.climatewatchdata.org/
- National Climate Change Law: http://www.profepa.gob.mx/innovaportal/file/6583/1/ley_general_de_cambio_climatico.pdf