Climate Action Tracker (CAT) warns that Mexico's clean energy pursuits fall short of global climate commitments. Specialists emphasized the importance of transparency and transitioning toward renewable energies.
During the second day of activities at PreCOP28, María José de Villafranca Casas, Analyst, CAT, warned that Mexico’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) fall short of meeting the country’s international commitments on climate change. "If the entire world had Mexico’s same level of contributions, the Earth's temperature would increase by 4°C, which would be catastrophic for humanity,” said Villafranca.
The third edition of PreCOP28, organized by Climate Initiative Mexico (ICM), took place on Nov. 14 and 15 in Mexico City. This event brought together national and international experts ahead of the UN’s Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28), scheduled from Nov. 30 to Dec. 12, 2023, in Dubai. During the gathering, participants exchanged perspectives on the status of negotiations leading up to COP28 and emphasized Mexico's significance in implementing financing mechanisms and actions related to greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation.
The latest update of the Mexican government's NDCs is positive, proposing a 35% reduction in GHG, according to Villafranca. However, it is not necessarily a step forward, as the baseline levels used to calculate emissions is too high. Additionally, there is no breakdown of contributions divided by sectors.
To remedy this situation, the specialist highlighted that, in terms of climate action, Mexico could enhance the transparency of its NDCs. “The government should cease investing in fossil fuel production and, instead, prioritize renewable energies. By this, I do not mean altering methodologies and attempting to designate natural gas, a fossil fuel, as clean overnight," Villafranca noted.
According to Villafranca, increasing Mexico’s clean energy capacity would provide sovereignty to the country, simultaneously creating jobs, boosting the economy, and safeguarding public health. “Mexico has tremendous potential; it could meet and even surpass its climate goals and regain its position as a leader in Latin America, as it once was. The next six years will be crucial in reversing trends, achieving goals, and reducing emissions," she noted.
Mexico's Lagging Decarbonization Efforts
Mexico ranks last among 16 countries on a list reflecting the progress made by nations in the decarbonization of the energy sector, according to a study conducted by CAT. “Most countries are not doing enough to accelerate the renewable energy transition, with Japan and Mexico at the back of the pack,” reads the report.
The document highlights that in past years, Mexico has withdrawn support for new renewable energy projects and is significantly behind in its efforts to decarbonize the electricity supply. CAT suggests that for Mexico to meet its international climate commitments, there is a critical need to reduce fossil gas generation by over half by 2030 and achieve a complete phase-out no later than 2040. Additionally, eliminating coal in the electricity sector is also essential to align with these goals.
“Mexico needs to generate at least two thirds of its power from renewables in 2030 to be 1.5°C compatible, up from about a fifth today,” the study states.