Achieving Mexico's climate goals: an Eight Point Action Plan

Achieving Mexico's climate goals: an Eight Point Action Plan

In recent years, Mexico has developed and implemented a range of policies and targets to address climate change, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and transition toward a low-carbon and climate-resilient society. These policies respond both to global efforts to limit climate change, and to Mexico’s own need to maintain energy security, curb air pollution, and improve the health and well-being of its people.

In 2012, Mexico became one of the first countries to pass comprehensive climate change legislation to guide national policy. The legislation comprises a general law, a special program on climate change, and a national strategy on climate change, and addresses a wide range of concerns including mitigation, adaptation, and institutional arrangements. Foremost among its objectives, the legislation aims to guarantee the right to a healthy environment and to regulate GHG emissions to achieve stabilization at a level that prevents dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, as specified in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). To this end, the legislation also establishes GHG reduction targets for 2020 and 2050.

Here, the authors have identified and evaluated policy options available to Mexico to support the implementation of its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) GHG mitigation targets, focusing primarily on technically feasible policy solutions that provide high abatement potential, with joint consideration of cost-effectiveness, political feasibility, and health co-benefits. These options were identified by testing through the Energy Policy Simulator model and expert feedback.

This working paper provides a roadmap for meeting Mexico’s INDC objectives. Analysis shows that Mexico has the opportunity to achieve its INDC targets while saving at least 200 billion pesos (around US$11 billion) and 15,000 lives by 2030. To reap these benefits, the authors propose an eight-point policy action plan:

  • improve fuel efficiency and promote the switch to clean fuels in industrial activities
  • maintain and develop cost-efficient policies to reduce emissions of non-CO2 gases
  • reduce distortions in the economy through carbon pricing and fossil fuel subsidies reduction
  • increase efficiency in the electricity sector
  • promote synergies with adaptation objectives (deforestation and reforestation) and other sectorial actions (agriculture)
  • prompt the transition to clean and well-designed transport options
  • increase energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings
  • develop a comprehensive, long-term strategy for achieving net zero GHG emissions in line with the long-term goals in the Paris Agreement
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