Mexico’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Have Increased by 74% Since 1990

Recently Reported Greenhouse Gas Emissions Level: Estimated 767 Megatons in 2020 Compared 440 Megatons in 1990

Climate Action Tracker’s research and the below graph indicate the CO2 emissions levels for Mexico for the last 30 years. Since the 1990s the country has increased its contributions of CO2 consistently from 440 MtCO2e to 767 MtCO2e in 2020 at pre-COVID levels. It is estimated that there will be slight decrease due to the pandemic placing emissions at 689 MtCO2e–although this is still above the 2020 pledge level of 630 MtCO2e. Please note that the emissions being referred exclude LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change, and Forestry).


World Resources Institute places energy consumption as the biggest source of human caused GHG and is responsible for 73% of emissions worldwide. This sector includes transportation, electricity and heat, buildings, manufacturing and construction, and others.

Estimates according to Our World in Data below show the impact of each sector on Mexico’s GHG emissions. Electricity generation and transportation were the two primary contributors in 2016 and risk continuing to be so in 2020 given the country’s policies towards fossil fuels.


The current administration has favored the use of fossil fuel plants and aims to strengthen the state-owned fuel company, PEMEX.

In its Energy Transition Law, Mexico determined that 35% of energy generation should come from clean sources by 2024 and pledges to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 under the Paris Agreement. However, there has been a setback in support for renewable energy since the current administration has halted contracts in this sector due to the pandemic.

However, Mexico’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) is expected to be operation in 2023 and has a mission of reducing GHG emissions. The ETS pilots beginning in 2019 were a promising move in the right direction but it remains unclear whether the current administration will continue to support this initiative with the same force after the pandemic.

Activity Ratings

Emission Rating: * / 4 stars (emissions have increased)

Emission policy rating over the past 10 years: * / 4 stars (emissions have increased in spite of existing/new policies)

Combined Activity Rating: ** / 8 stars


Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources: Victor Manuel Toledo



Telephone: 54900900 Ext. 12000/12076/12001

Address: Col. Anáhuac, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo / Ciudad de México, México / Z.C. 11320


Secretary of Energy: Rocío Nahle



Telephone: 50006000

Address: Insurgentes Sur 890 / Del Valle, Ciudad de México / C.P. 03100

Learn More

Climate Action Tracker: Country Profile Mexico

Our World in Data: Country Profile Mexico

WRI-Four Charts that explain GHG emissions

This post was submitted by Mexico Country Manager Patricia Pratt

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