Looking Back 2022: The Sembrando Vida Program
Looking Forward 2023: Implementing Improvements in Energy Efficiency and Greater Use of Renewable Energy
In 2022, the Government of Mexico proposed more than 30 measures that will allow a reduction in the annual emissions of greenhouse gases, especially CO2. Among them stands out the “Sembrando Vida” program. The program will allow 4 million tons of CO2 per year to be reduced; the creation of new Protected Natural Areas, and the National Blue Carbon Strategy, which will allow an annual reduction of emissions of 15 MtCO2e. Even more important is the plan to use energy efficiency measures to reduce emissions by 27 MtCO2 per year by 2030.
However, these are goals that have not yet been met. “Sembrando Vida” plan started in 2019, and, although it has solved to a certain extent social problems and the generation of food in the population, it does not seem to have been as effective as expected in terms of its capacity to mitigate CO2 emissions. National Blue Carbon Strategy is the only project that has not started. In regards to the Protected Natural areas, only the Lake Texcoco area was declared protected in 2022. These actions have not achieved a great influence on CO2 emissions; in fact, the UN “Emissions Gap Reports 2022”, shows that Mexico had an increase in emissions targets.
Nevertheless, there are two important events climate change related that can be highlighted:
1) As a negative event, drought and water scarcity stand out; 2022 was the most serious year since 2012. Rainfall was 20.8% less than in 2021, due to the “La Niña” phenomenon (which registered its first triple episode in 2022, due to the continuous increase in global temperatures), but exacerbated by poor water management. The drought has affected the well-being of the population and the economy and has had negative effects such as soil erosion, degradation and desertification, and forest loss. These events greatly limit the ability of ecosystems to store CO2, which slows down the mitigation of emissions.
2) As a positive event, Mexico City was named a climate leader in the Carbon Disclosure Project’s List A of 2022. This is highly relevant since the capital has more than 9 million inhabitants and is responsible for great amounts of emissions due to activities such as industry and transportation; so its positive advances in the mitigation of emissions will have repercussions throughout the country, and its appointment as climate leader encourages other cities and entities to follow this example. A-List cities are taking twice as many mitigation and adaptation measures as non-A-List cities.
Among the most effective measures in Mexico City is the implementation of the circular economy, which made it possible to reduce the extraction of resources from nature, promote green jobs, and reduce air, soil, and water pollution. A reduction of 403,468 tons of CO2 was achieved in the past year. The most important axis was the one that guarantees air quality, by promoting the replacement of private and public transport by cleaner vehicles; better management of industrial waste; greater efficiency in the generation, transmission and distribution of electrical energy; better treatment of polluting particles and better treatment of solid waste and wastewater. All these measures have the potential to reduce emissions by 556,549 tons of CO2 annually.
In 2022, the third biennial update report was presented to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, prepared by the Inter-Ministerial Commission on Climate Change, which indicates that in the period 2018-2020, an emission reduction of 88.4 was recorded. MtCO2e by the energy sector, which corresponds to 78.6% of total mitigation. Among the most important measures that made this mitigation possible was the increase in renewable energy, which reached 25.6%. The goal is to reach 35% renewable energy in 2030. Due to all the aforementioned data, I consider that the most important event that must occur in 2023 in order to reduce CO2 emissions within Mexico is the effective, real and efficient implementation of a plan that improves energy efficiency and implements more renewable resources for the generation of electrical energy, such as wind or solar energy. This will have an impact on both the public and private sectors (industries and private homes), which will also reduce the extraction of resources from nature and the use of fossil fuels.
This Post was submitted by Climate Scorecard Mexico Country Manager Pablo David Necoechea Porras