Mexico Checkup

Mexico—Falling Behind

Mexico has had continuous participation in the international climate change arena since the UNFCCC was established back in 1993. However, one can question whether Mexico’s engagement at the international level has translated into effective climate change policy.

In ‘Not on the “Paris Track”: Climate Protection Efforts in Developing Countries’, authors Jann Lay and Sebastian Renner stress that Mexico’s ambitious INDC pledge to the Paris Agreement has not resulted in effective government action. They highlight that although Mexico has stopped investing in further coal plants, it is relying on gas reserves to serve the increasing energy demands that are expected for future decades. The introduction by the government of energy taxes has been deemed, “too small to make any measurable difference to emissions”.

In the book, 21 visions of the COP21 by Norma Patricia Muñoz Sevilla, Isaac Azuz-Adeath, and Maxime Le Bail, the authors address adaptation measures in the chapter, National policy on adaptation and the Paris Agreement. In this chapter, the authors explain that incorporating adaptation measures to the Paris Agreement is a milestone, but implementing them in Mexico will be a challenge for a number of reasons. Focusing on coastal areas, they highlight some of the following barriers: lack of funding, limited technical and planning capacities, disconnection among different governmental institutions and other sectors, political conflicts associated with the party affiliation of governors and decision makers, among others.

Mexico’s INDCs have received “medium” ratings both from Climate Action Tracker and the Citizens Climate Agreement Campaign, reflecting their ambitious character and problems related to achieving them. Important issues to highlight are the lack of a pledge towards 100% renewable energy, low support for investments in renewable energy, as well as the absence of a cross-sectoral effort to implement environmental policy. The Transport, Energy and Agricultural sectors seem to be working independently of what the Ministry of Environment is trying to achieve.

Overall, Mexico is backsliding in relation to its agreement to implement the Paris Agreement. Mexico’s economic development plans clash with its written commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to future climate scenarios. The challenges remaining, including a broad range of political conditions that affect the country, are preventing it from effectively implementing the actions needed not only to meet its intended contributions but also to undertake a truly transformative program that tackles climate change.

Learn More

Article: Not on the “Paris Track”: Climate Protection Efforts in Developing Countries (December 2016)
Book Chapter: National policy on adaptation and the Paris Agreement (Política nacional de adaptación ante el Acuerdo de París) (2016): Chapter XI pp. 173-185
Climate Action Tracker. Mexico:
Top 25 Greenhouse Gas Emitting Countries’ Paris Agreement Pledges (with rating):
Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN): “Camino a la implementación de las Contribuciones Nacionales” (In Spanish):

Mexico Emission Reduction Policy

Special Program on Climate Change (PECC)

The Special Program on Climate Change, PECC, is a federal level policy first published in 2009 as a result of the continuous involvement of the Mexican government in national and international debates surrounding climate change. It sets a long-term agenda, while also presenting short and medium-term plans. Currently Mexico is working with the updated PECC 2014-2018, following the PECC that lasted from 2009 to 2012.

Derived from the General Law on Climate Change and the National Strategy of Climate Change, and aligned with the government’s National Development Plan, the program presents mitigation and adaptation targets that need to be achieved by different federal agencies, identifying their strategic roles. This involves using the same indicators and measurements for different sectors and feeding them to an online system from which the Intersecretarial Commission on Climate Change can evaluate progress.

The PECC has been praised for setting cross-sectoral goals that bring together federal agencies to consider different climate change variables, such as gender, in its targets. It serves as an example for the creation of climate change programs at the state level. However, it has been noted that it remains too vague in certain aspects, that its measuring methodologies increase uncertainty, and that it lacks a way of sharing its advances with the public. Nevertheless, the measures implemented after the creation of the PECC have been linked to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. By following the recommendations and suggestions presented in the evaluations of the PECC, it has the potential to contribute to Mexico’s plan to face climate change.

Learn More

PECC 2014-2018 (in English and Spanish) and

Progress report of PECC 2009-2012 (in Spanish)

Evaluation of PECC 2009-2012 (in Spanish)

Analysis of the PECC 2014-2018 (in English)

Mexico Extreme Weather Event

Hurricane Patricia

From a tropical storm to a Category 5 hurricane in just a matter of hours, Hurricane Patricia astonished Mexico and the world on October 23, 2015, as it became the most intense tropical cyclone in the Western Hemisphere and one of the strongest storms ever recorded globally. After reaching the west coast of Mexico, it lost its intensity and strength as it moved towards a mountainous terrain with drier air. At 7:00 am the next day, it had become a tropical storm again.

A great disaster in the making, Patricia’s impacts were far from what was expected thanks to the coming together of several factors: it was a small and fast storm with less water and a reduced area of influence; its path took it through a sparsely populated region; and finally, a surprisingly preventive approach carried out by different levels of the government, local businesses and communities, contributed to ameliorate the potential damaging effects of the storm.

Although it only had a few casualties, Patricia exerted great pressure on the rural communities that it hit. It caused landslides and uprooted trees, while affecting roads, highways, houses and service centers. One of the biggest impacts was for local farmers, as 12,500 hectares of crops were lost due to the hurricane. In total, 10,000 people were affected, and the government calculated the costs of recovery to be approximately more than a billion Mexican pesos.

After the hurricane, members of the Marines, the Red Cross and other civil defense groups worked on rescue actions within most of the affected communities. One year later, money from the Fund for Emergency Response (FONDEN) was used to build only 48 new homes out of the 3,000 that were damaged. Although the new houses followed the established norms to reduce their risk of being destroyed and cut off from service provision, the rest of the victims in the region have received inadequate and sparse materials to reconstruct their homes and have yet to see compensation for the lost agricultural produce.

As shown in the case of Hurricane Patricia, the government still approaches disaster response with a disproportionate deployment of efforts and resources towards post-disaster military assistance, rather than the implementation of risk reduction measures. This is even more noticeable in the gaps between climate change policies and civil protection laws, where there is a lack of cross-sectoral approaches that will be needed as climate change brings more frequent and intense events like Patricia.

Learn More

Hurricane Patricia hits Mexico:

How Patricia, the strongest hurricane on record, killed so few people:

On the disappointment of the victims of Patricia (in Spanish):

The interplay between climate change and disaster risk reduction policy: evidence from Mexico:

Mexico Media Organizations

Broadcast Media

Mexico’s No. 1 TV and radio broadcaster, Televisa, is a multimedia company owned by the Azcárraga family. Televisa has become a television monopoly, controlling 70% of the broadcast television market. In addition, by broadcasting several channels through free-to-air services, its coverage reaches almost 95% of Mexican homes, which rely on this mean of communication to inform themselves about the main events going on in Mexico and the world.

In 2010, during the World Climate Summit that took place at the 16th Conference of the Parts (COP16) in Cancún, México, Emilio Azcárraga Jean, current chairman and CEO of the company, declared that Televisa was committed to use its broadcasting hours to transmit environmentally friendly initiatives. He also asserted the crucial role that the media has as an agent to communicate the causes and consequences of climate change. Although great coverage was given at that time due to the location of the Conference and the involvement of several politicians, the presence of climate change has been significantly reduced from Televisa’s main news segments, only to be picked up again during important international events such as the Paris Agreement.

Content Samples:

Currently, ForoTV, one of Televisa’s news outlet, has several programs with information about climate change. One example is the program Foro Global (Global Forum), where journalist Genaro Lozano discusses international news. In the previous month, they covered President Donald Trump’s actions in relation to climate change, as well as a recent declaration from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research about the relationship between climate change related events and armed conflicts.
Main page:
Forbes profile:
Noticieros televisa:
Azcárraga’s participation in the World Climate Summit: (Spanish)
Climate change coverage:
Alberto Vega’s article:
Main page:
Forbes profile:
Noticieros televisa:
Azcárraga’s participation in the World Climate Summit: (Spanish)
Climate change coverage:
Alberto Vega’s article:

Contact: Alberto Vega is the reporter in charge of the last story. Email:

Print Media

Proceso is a weekly print and online magazine of socio-political analysis and opinion. Founded by journalist Julio Scherer García in 1976, Proceso’s open and critical coverage about politicians and the government (contrary to Televisa’s style) has given it a high prestige among the Mexican media. The current director is Rafael Rodríguez Castañeda, with Salvador Corro as editorial assistant.

Although the company that owns the magazine, CISA Comunicación e Información, S.A. de C.V, hasn’t expressed openly about its position towards climate change or the Paris Agreement, the contents of Proceso reflect those of Televisa, with climate change related publications mostly covering international conferences and summits (with a high peak during the COP16 in Cancún), the ratification and entry into force of the Paris Agreement, and declarations by government officials.

Nevertheless, some of the climate change related articles published in the magazine follow its critical and analytical line. For example, in an analysis of the Paris Agreement, contributor Olga Pellicer asks why everyone was not so optimistic during the aftermath of the conference. She presents the success of the Agreement in terms of what was achieved compared to previous years, but also adds the weaknesses in terms of accountability and the clarity of certain mechanisms, while explaining the difficulties of international cooperation.

Content Samples:
Main page:
Analysis of Proceso’s COP16 coverage:
Climate change coverage:
Olga Pellicer’s article:

Contact: Mailing address: Fresas #13 Colonia del Valle , Mexico City, Mexico. 03100.
Online editor: Alejandro Caballero, Email:, Tel: +52 (55) 5636-2010

Online Media

Animal Politico is an all online political news site that started in 2010. It was created by several journalists under the publishing house Editorial Animal. As an independent journalism initiative, they rely on investors that, as of today, haven’t showed any ties with political parties, such as Elephant Publishing, a Miami-based company. Moreover, they also rely in crowdsourcing campaigns to support their activities. Daniel Moreno is the general manager of the news site, with Mael Vallejo as an editorial director.

Unlike the previous two entries, Animal Politico lists environmental issues as one of the main topics they strive to cover. This is reflected on the publication of a broader coverage of climate change related articles, although in general the main pieces resemble the approach of Televisa and Proceso.  As an example of the variety that Animal Politico offers, recently they published a more light-hearted article about the psychological effects that climate change researchers might develop, like depression, addictions or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as a result of encountering incredulity and lack of response from the public. The note ends arguing that rather than promoting depression or inaction, their goal is to create awareness and a call to the government to propose responses that address climate change.

Content Samples:
Main page:
Rise of online journalism in Mexico:
Climate change coverage:
Claudia Godoy’s article:

Contact: Email:, Tel: +52 (55) 5207-1407
Claudia Godoy, reporter of the last article:

Mexico Subnational Best Practices


Baja California—Baja California is a pioneer state in renewable energy developments. In 2010 it participated in the building of 200 houses with solar panels. Moreover, the same year the wind park “La Rumorosa I” opened with a capacity of 10 MW. There is an on-going energy efficiency program that replaces air conditioners, refrigerators, light bulbs and installs thermal insulation in buildings.

Regarding the transport sector, the cities of Tijuana and Mexicali also implemented a BRT system. Thanks to a State Reforestation Program, three plant nurseries were created in the cities of Tijuana, Mexicali and El Hongo with the goal of planting 1 million trees per year.

Raúl Alberto Tovar Gerardo, Air Quality Department, Secretary of Environmental Protection of the State of Baja California.
Telephone: +52 (686) 566-22-68 Ext: 109

Chiapas—In 2010, the state of Chiapas established REDD+ (Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation) committees to collaborate in the development of a REDD+ framework at regional and local levels. In 2011, it joined the R20 (Regions of Climate) Group, a coalition of sub-national governments and other actors that implements low-carbon and climate-resilient projects. It also became part of the Governor’s Climate and Forest Taskforce (GCF), an international group of 16 states with high coverage of tropical forests.

José Alfredo Ruíz Samayoa, Undersecretary of Climate Change, Secretary of Environment and Natural History of the State of Chiapas.
Address: Calzada Cerro Hueco S/N., El Zapotal C.P. 29094 Tuxtla Gutiérrez, Chiapas
Telephone: +52 (961) 614700 Ext. 51008


Broadly, in Mexico there are around 20 provinces or municipalities that have clear and effective mitigation and adaptation strategies which were developed with the help of ICLEI—Local Governments for Sustainability. ICLEI has also been involved at the state level, where in collaboration with the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change and state governments they have developed State Climate Change Action Programs. The states of Quintana Roo, Yucatán, and Campeche also established their own Regional Commission of Climate Change to coordinate actions and strategies.

Of the 32 states of Mexico, 25 are associated with ICLEI, while 66 municipalities have taken sustainable development actions from ICLEI’s program.  40 cities or municipalities have also signed the Mexico City Pact. However, only 12 have subscribed to the Pact’s idea of globally measurable, reportable, and verifiable (MRV) local climate actions, which must be reported on the Carbon-Climate Registry platform.


Mexico City—Mexico City has considerable experience in implementing mitigation strategies in various sectors. In 2010, it hosted and promoted the Global Cities Covenant on Climate or “The Mexico City Pact”, a voluntary initiative of mayors and local authority representatives that aims to advance climate actions. Some of the mechanisms implemented to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions during that period were the following:
•    Approval on a new Norm for the Use of Solar Power, which resulted in the installation of photovoltaic cells in parks, use of solar power for Metro (subway) and Metrobús (a Bus Rapid Transit-BRT system) facilities and the publication of an Energy Efficiency Program.
•    New policies to improve air quality led to the substitution of taxi fleets, acquisition of middle-sized buses of more capacity, increased restrictions on the ‘Hoy No Circula’ Program (restriction of diesel and gasoline powered vehicles depending on the day of the week, the last digit on the vehicle’s license plate and the efficiency of their engines) and the installation of new Metrobús lanes.
•    Reforestation campaigns.
•    Expansion of the composting plant at the Bordo Poniente landfill.
•    Wastewater management.
•    Improvement of buildings and housing units.

Mexico City’s Climate Action Program 2014-2020 sets a reduction goal of 8 MtCO2 eq., with an added 2 MtCO2 eq. of indirect mitigation.

Oscar Alejandro Vázquez Martínez, Director of the Climate Change and Clean Development Processes Program, Secretary of Environment of Mexico City.
Telephone: +52 (55) 5278 9931 ext. 6852

Mexico Leaders and Opponents

Government Official
Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo
Vice Minister for Environmental Policy and Planning of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources

As the Vice Minister for Environmental Policy and Planning of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Rodolfo Lacy Tamayo oversees the development of environmental government actions through policy and planning. He worked for 8 years as director of Programs and Projects at the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environmental Studies, leading different projects related to renewable energy, emission inventory, climate change, and sustainable use of natural resources. He is Mexico’s principal negotiator on Climate Change issues.


Climate Program Advocate
Amparo Martínez Arroyo
General Director of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change

Amparo Martínez Arroyo is a full-time researcher and head of the Department of Aerosols at the Atmospheric Science Center of the National Autonomous University of Mexico. As an expert in environmental problem analysis and science-society relations, she has been invited to collaborate in several public management projects, like the construction of a network of North American Natural Protected Areas facing Climate Change. She also led the Climate Change related programs on the 2012 national survey for the Citizen’s Agenda on Science, Technology and Innovation. Before taking office as the Director of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change in 2013, she was a member of the Climate Change Council, a permanent administrative unit that advises the federal government on Climate Change.


Climate Program Opponent
Pedro Joaquín Coldwell
Minister of Energy

Officially, Mr. Joaquín Coldwell supports the Paris Agreement as well as Mexico’s intended goals towards more efficient and renewable energies. However, the actions taken by his Ministry are generally more inclined toward the support of fossil fuels. This year the Ministry of Energy has been bidding the access to deepwater excavations by national and international private companies. The Ministry expects investments of 50 billion US dollars for the new deepwater sites for the period of 2015-2019, while only expecting 14 billion in the case of renewable energies. The Ministry, through its National Hydrocarbons branch, has allowed the development of fracking sites for a 25-year period.

Mr. Joaquín Coldwell is also Chairman of the Board at Petróleos Mexicanos S.A. de C.V. and the Federal Electricity Commission. In addition, his family owns several businesses dedicated to the distribution of gasoline.


Mexico Leading Research Study

Research Study: “Modelación de descarbonización profunda del sistema energético en México al 2050”, National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático), prepared by Jorge Alberto Francisco Tovilla Cao-Romero, July of 2015

In 2015, the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change in Mexico funded and published a report on Models for deep decarbonization of Mexico’s energy system by 2050. This study was part of the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP), developed by The Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) and the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) in which 16 countries responsible of more than 70% of global GHG emissions participated. This was the first study of this kind to take place in Mexico.

Aims of the study

  • Explore the technical feasibility of reducing Mexico´s GHG emissions to 50% below 2000 levels by 2050 (in accordance with the target set by the General Climate Change Law of 2012 and the international 2°C target).
  • Discuss the nature, scale, and timing of the changes required to achieve this transformation as well as possible challenges and opportunities.
  • Provide inputs and insights for future benchmarks that will be required to evaluate the consistency of policy pathways with the achievement of a 2050 deep decarbonization in a credible and cost-effective manner.
  • Identify the requirements for further more detailed deep-decarbonization analyses to inform future policy and investment decisions


The study set a modeling target of 250 MtCO2 emitted per year in 2050. From there, energy production and consumption in Mexico from 2010 to 2050 was modeled from the backcast interpolation of key indicators related to 4 different sectors:  transport (passenger and freight); electricity generation; industry; and buildings (residential and commercial). To simulate less emission intensive alternatives, the model combined these sectors with different levels of implementation of energy efficiency, electrification and fuel shift, and low-carbon electricity. These alternative-energy scenarios were the object of further analysis with the participation of expert opinions to refine modeling assumptions of current trends, identify potential strategies and the feasibility of transitioning to low-carbon alternatives.
Key findings

Among its key findings, the study highlights the feasibility of deep decarbonization pathways in Mexico under the following assumptions: accelerated increase in energy efficiency uptake across all sectors, rapid development and deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS), zero emission vehicles, energy storage technologies and smart transmission and distribution (smart grids), and system flexibility to promote, adopt, and combine diverse options over the timeframe of decarbonization.


To achieve the goal of 2°C, short, medium, and long-term planning of the energy systems nationwide is suggested. The authors of the study emphasize the need of “implementing an integral vision of energy system decarbonization, and robust sector planning during the period of 2015-2025 to ensure that the 2025-2050 period can be “fully dedicated to the roll-out of any credible decarbonization pathway.”

The substitution of fuels with high carbon content for fossil alternatives with a lower CO2 intensity, like natural gas, isn’t recommended since it implies high investment costs while insufficiently reducing GHG emission. However, natural gas in Mexico is still widely considered as a clean energy alternative, as the Energy Industry Law of 2014 and growing international investment shows.

Since the publication of this study there hasn’t been any visible efforts to implement its findings or recommendations. Nevertheless, some progress was made in March of this year when the authors presented their results to the Senate during a forum called “Achieving the Paris Agreement through decarbonization in Mexico”.

Learn More

Pathways to deep decarbonization in Mexico. Report.

Spanish version of the report (from the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change)

For more countries working on the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project (DDPP).

YouTube link of the Senate’s Forum “Achieving the Paris Agreement through decarbonization in Mexico” (in Spanish) The study is presented from 1:59:00 but the video includes more presentations from different experts.

Mexico Emissions Reduction Policy

Mexico: The General Law on Climate Change

The General Law on Climate Change (GLCC) is Mexico’s main legal instrument for climate change mitigation and adaptation. At the time of its endorsement in 2012 it represented a milestone in legal and regulatory development for the country, since it incorporated the institutionalization of former policies that the government had developed about climate change.

Mexico’s major policies on climate change and GHG emission reduction stem from its adherence to international conventions and protocols. Following Mexico’s role as host for the COP16 in 2010, and inspired by the UK’s Climate Change Act of 2008, former Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Senator Alberto Cárdenas, proposed a bill to establish GLCC with the support of 28 fellow senators. After negotiating with parties of the opposition and private stakeholders, and integrating seven different proposals, the bill was approved by the Senate in 2011 and sent to the Chamber of Deputies for its revision. Finally, it was signed in June of 2012 by then President Felipe Calderón, and Mexico became the second developing country with a law of this sort after South Korea.

Since its publication, the GLCC brought some positive results on the short term. Some examples are: the transformation of the National Institute of Ecology into a decentralized Institute of Ecology and Climate Change; the creation of different mechanisms for evaluation, participation and surveillance; the introduction of a National Fund for Climate Change; and the development of long and short term planning instruments like the National Strategy and Special Program on Climate Change. The Law has also been praised for its inclusion of different sectors and levels of the government, for updating national inventories on gas emissions, and for establishing an article that prevents the lessening of previously settled goals in new revisions or proposals by the country on GHG emission.

Since 2015, an official committee has been evaluating the performance of national policies on climate change and once they’re finished, they aim to issue recommendations to the Federal Government. So far, some of the criticisms of the Law are that it hasn’t succeeded on a state level, resulting in a lack of state planning on climate change, and its top-bottom approach that fails to include local groups and social participation.

Although almost all the Latin American countries have their own policies and institutions regarding climate change, Mexico’s GLCC could set an example for those that still lack their own framework laws, like Argentina, Chile or Uruguay.

Learn More _general_de_cambio_climatico.pdf

Mexican Energy Production Trends

How The Energy System Is Structured

The energy sector in Mexico is managed by the Ministry of Energy. It is divided in two subsectors: hydrocarbons and electricity. Both are operated through the whole productive chain by two state-owned companies, called “productive state enterprises.” PEMEX (Mexican Petroleum) is in charge of the hydrocarbons; electricity is mainly handled by the Federal Commission of Electricity (CFE) (1 & 2). These institutions are financially autonomous as well as independently managed from the Federal Government. They are allowed to associate with private producers, as well as to import or export energy from/to other countries (2). The Government has established several agencies in order to regulate different parts of the energy sector. Some examples are: National Commission of Hydrocarbons; Energy Regulation Commission; National Center of Energy Control; National Center of Natural Gas; Safety, Energy and Environment Agency; National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Security; Mexican Institute of Petroleum; National Institute of Nuclear Research; Institute of Electrical Research; and National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy (1).

Policies in Mexico demonstrate strong contradictions inside the government concerning energy production and climate change mitigation and reduction. On the one hand, it keeps promoting the production and use of non-renewable energies, through laws such as the Law of Mexican Petroleum, the Industrial Energy Law, or the Law for the Exploitation of Renewable Energies and Funding for the Energetic Transition. This last law works under a regime where the CFE is compelled to acquire the cheapest option of electric energy on the market, which is not renewable (3). Many other examples present in those laws are inconsistent with Mexico’s INDCs, and are bound to slow our advance on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions related to the energy sector.

Source of Energy

According to the Ministry of Energy of Mexico, by 2014, roughly 92.4% of the energy produced in Mexico came from non-renewable sources, and only 7.6% from renewable (4), as shown in Figure 1. By 2015, the percentage of energy from renewable sources increased to 13.7% (5). Although most official statements indicate that by 2015 the percentage of renewables in Mexico was about 25%, further reading demonstrates that that is the effective generation capacity, not the net produce of energy (5 & 6).


Figure 1. Primary Energy Production 2014.

Profiles of Leading Energy Companies

PEMEX:  In Mexico, the leading company in non-renewable energy is PEMEX, which is one of the few companies of the world that runs through the whole productive chain: exploration, production, transformation, logistics, and commercialization. It produces about 2.436 million barrels per day and more than 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas (7 & 8). The size of its operations has made it one of the biggest contributors to the country’s economy, since it accounts for one third of the income of the public sector and it contributed to 6% of the GDP in 2013 (9).

Founded in 1938 by president Lázaro Cárdenas through the nationalization of petroleum from all the private companies, it remained under the same corporate structure until 2013, when president Enrique Peña Nieto promoted the Energetic Reform (10). Since then, new laws and the amendment of existing ones have allowed PEMEX to incorporate third parties and private investors (11), with the creation of seven subsidiaries: Pemex Exploration and Production, Pemex Industrial Transformation, Pemex Drilling and Services, Pemex Logistics, Pemex Cogeneration and Services, Pemex Fertilizers, and Pemex Ethylene.

Since 1980, PEMEX has seen a decline in production and consequently, in income. The Government expects that for the next year, production will fall below 2 million barrels per day (12). This trend is negatively impacting both the company and its clients. Businesses in the north of Mexico with intensive use of electrical energy have opted out of developing their own electricity production projects in the face of the volatile costs of state produced energy, while the income from gasoline sales, PEMEX’s main revenue, has dropped by 29% compared to 2014 (12 & 13).

The new corporate scheme of PEMEX reflects the concern over declining production of the company, and establishes a political agenda that looks to increase the production and use of oil and gas, with a goal of 3 million barrels a day of crude oil by 2020 (5).

Iberdola: Iberdola is the leading company in renewable energy production in Mexico. A private corporation from Spain, Iberdrola’s main client is Mexico’s CFE (14), the public sector institution in charge of providing electricity to the country (15). According to Iberdrola’s CEO in Mexico, they produce 15% of the energy of the country, with an installed capacity of 15,000 MW in wind farms (other sources indicate a capacity of 5,082 MW between co-generation and mixed cycles (16)). Besides the CFE, Iberdrola also acts as a supplier of 100 private clients, which in total brings them an income of $1.5 billion a year (14). Iberdrola’s investments in Mexico will continually increase for the next 5 years. However, they will be focusing on the conventional energy branch, with the renewable part receiving only 10% of the financial input (14).

Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Raiza Pilatowsky

Mexico Emission Reduction Challenges

Leading Emission Reduction Challenges: (a) Rising consumer and/or industrial demand for energy-intensive products and services; (b) Dependence on fossil fuels as energy sources; (c) Problems implementing climate change policy and programs


Current Greenhouse Gas Emission Levels

Mexico’s level of greenhouse gas emissions in 2010 was 748 million tons of CO2 equivalents (MtCO2e), according to the last official publication presented by the Mexican government to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2012. Although in recent years there has been a decrease in emissions—as shown in Mexico’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, or INDC—in a Business As Usual scenario, the current greenhouse gas emission growth rate might take those levels up to a billion tons of CO2e by 2020.


Emission Reduction Challenges

Mexico faces two main barriers for further greenhouse gas emission reduction: (A) Its reliance on fossil fuels, which has increased along with urban expansion and economic development, (B) Rising energy demand, and (C) A government crisis linked to a lack of transparency, accountability, and the correct implementation of the law.

  1. Energy production in Mexico relies heavily on fossil fuels. Milestones such as the creation of a General Law on Climate Change (2012) and the approval of the Energy Transition Law in 2015 emphasize the need to transition to a renewable energy framework for development, but other laws like the ones developed after the Energy Reform of 2013 promotes the persistent use of fossil fuels.
  2. Even the Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Rafael Pacchiano, declared before the COP21 that energy demands in the country will grow so much that we will not be able to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels on the medium term. If Mexico can solve the issues associated with point B, and sticks to the guidelines proposed in its climate change National Strategies and Plans, it may be able to address these barriers.
  3. Mexico’s lack of transparency and accountability in all levels of government makes it difficult for climate change national goals to be enforced. This is reflected in a shortage of implementation and surveillance mechanisms and clear actions that will help to comply with the Paris Agreement pledges the country has made. This is a harder step to take, since recent efforts by citizens to demand accountability and transparency from government representatives have been rejected by the same officials, for example like the 3of3 Law proposal signed by 630 thousand Mexicans.

–Submitted by Climate Scorecard Country Manager Raiza Pilatowsky Gruner


Useful Resources

Mexico’s level of emission: