News Article

Mexico’s Climate Change Ambitions

Wed, 02/24/2016 - 11:31

The 2016 edition of Mexico Energy Forum started with the participation of Rodolfo Lacy, Undersecretary of Environmental Planning and Policy at Ministry of Environment, who talked about the climate negotiations held in Paris at the end of 2015 and highlighted the leading role that Mexico played in this summit. In this regard, Mexico’s crowning moment was the introduction of the General Climate Change Law, which makes it the second country to have implemented a regulatory framework regarding its climate change ambitions. Mexico also introduced a carbon tax in which a marginal cost must be covered by industrial actors emitting over 25,000 tonnes of CO2. Lacy also highlighted the importance of the Energy Reform, as this paved the way for the creation of Clean Energy Certificates (CELs) and their trading market, which the Mexican government plans to launch during the present administration.

Lacy commented that Mexico committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 22% by 2030. For the energy industry, this target implies sourcing 35% power generation from clean energy sources by 2024, and 42% by 2030. To increase the share of clean energies in the power mix, the Undersecretary mentioned that Mexican generators can obtain financing from the different climate funds resulting from the COP21 agreement. Such funds will come from the US$100 billion that developed economies collectively intend to designate each year to climate change mitigation and adaptation projects.

Afterwards, Lacy talked about the open information policy, which is another important subject established in the climate discussions that also affects Mexico’s adaptation and mitigation strategies. Countries that agree on this policy are expected to publish an emissions inventory on a regular basis, which will be monitored and assessed by the UN. Furthermore, all signing countries are obliged to review their INDCs every five years and increment their climate change targets according to their situation. The Undersecretary said that Mexico was one of the first countries to ratify this agreement, as the General Law of Climate Change indicates that the government must reevaluate the country’s climate change program every six years. Before leaving the podium, the Undersecretary reminded the audience that 2015 was the hottest year on record, stressing the importance of decreasing greenhouse emissions, a goal in which the global energy transition plays a crucial role.