Mexico

Overall rating
Highly insufficient
Policies & action
Highly insufficient
< 4°C World
Internationally supported target
Insufficient
< 3°C World
Fair share target
Critically insufficient
4°C+ World
Climate finance
Not assessed
Net zero target

year

N/A

Comprehensiveness not rated as

No target
Land use & forestry

historically considered a

Sink
Policies & action
Highly insufficient

We rate Mexico’s policies and actions as “Highly insufficient”. The “Highly insufficient” rating indicates that Mexico’s policies and action in 2030 lead to rising, rather than falling, emissions and are not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. If all countries were to follow Mexico’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C by end of the century.

Policy overview

Under the government of President Lopez Obrador Mexico’s environmental and climate policies have gone backwards, largely because the government continues to prioritise the use of fossil fuels in all spheres of government and deprioritise climate change mitigation under the discourse of energy security and republican austerity.

Since Lopez Obrador took office in December 2018, several energy and climate related policies have been rolled back and governance institutions dismantled.

Just a month into the new government, In January 2019, it cancelled the ‘long-term electricity auctions’ (Energia Estrategica, 2019). The scheme was introduced in 2015 as one of Mexico’s main instruments to achieve its clean energy targets under the Energy Transition Law and General Climate Change Law. The first three rounds of electricity auctions resulted in 65 new solar and wind power plants and several broken international records for low generation prices (Notimex, 2019).

In June 2019, after fast-tracking permitting processes, the construction of the “Dos Bocas” oil refinery in Tabasco began (Fanny Miranda, 2019). This new oil refinery is expected to emit 2.1 MtCO2e per year (K. García, 2020a). Most of the 2019 federal budget allocated to the Federal Electricity Company (CFE, in Spanish) was invested in the “modernisation” of coal, diesel, oil and gas power plants, some of which the previous administration had planned to retire (Secretaría de Gobernación, 2018).

In 2020, the government published an energy bill (fast tracked due to COVID-19) that effectively halts private renewable energy investment, prioritising the government's own ageing, fossil-fuel power plants (Government of Mexico, 2020). The government said the pandemic caused a huge drop in electricity demand as factories closed and power feeds from renewable sources would have to be postponed during the pandemic, (incorrectly arguing that the intermittent nature of renewable energy projects would produce oscillation in the electrical system which the National Electrical System could not deal with (Stevenson, 2020).

In November of the same year, reforms to the General Climate Change Law eliminated the Climate Change Fund, removing one of the most relevant sources of domestic funding for climate-related measures (Ambiental, 2020).

In 2021, over 70% of the Federal budget allocated under ‘climate change mitigation and adaptation effects’ went to the transport of natural gas, a fossil fuel (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, 2020). A similar amount was allocated in 2022 to continue financing the transport of natural gas under the umbrella of ‘climate change efforts’ (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, 2021).

In May 2021, the Mexican oil company, PEMEX, acquired an oil refinery in Texas, US (Reuters, 2021).

In December 2021, the government confirmed the dissolution of the National Institute for Climate Change (INECC)—a decentralised research institution established in 2012 with the purpose of creating & integrating climate change scientific & technical knowledge to aid decision making and policy development in Mexico (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales, 2021). This decision – proposed by Lopez Obrador as an austerity measure – was a direct attack on Mexico’s climate change governance. While its responsibilities and personnel are said to be transferred to the Environment Ministry (SEMARNAT), this change eliminates the decentralised qualifier of the institutions, effectively losing a critical voice against the government.

The federal budget approved by the Mexican Congress for 2022 still includes resources for new infrastructure related to fossil fuels, including the construction of the Dos Bocas oil refinery (Secretaría General & Secretaría de Servicios Parlamentarios, 2021).

In April 2022, however, opposition legislators stopped the executive’s proposal (from September 2021) to reform Mexico’s energy system (C. García, 2022). With this proposal, the government intended to significantly limit the participation of private electricity producers and eliminate the National Centre of Energy Control (CENACE) – a regulatory institution – as well as instruments like the Clean Energy Certificates. Prior to the vote, civil society protest sparked a public debate on the implications of the reform—giving a clear message to the government that despite the priorities of the ruling party, Mexicans are concerned about climate change and their future.

The decision to favour fossil fuel generation over renewable energy now puts Mexico on a path that is even more inconsistent with the steps it needs to take to achieve the Paris Agreement's 1.5°C limit. Its plans for the power sector stand in stark contrast to what is required to achieve the 1.5°C limit. Furthermore, the dismantling of climate change governance institutions - that have successfully created scientific knowledge to inform public policy and have at times also criticised the lack of action of the Mexican government – effectively sends a message to the climate community that climate change and the environment are simply not a priority of the current government in Mexico.

Policy panorama in Mexico

The basis for climate policy in Mexico is its ‘General Climate Change Law’ (LGCC)—adopted in 2012— which translates the overarching climate targets into strategies and plans, and provides the institutional framework for implementation. This law was one of the first globally, and the first in a developing country. The law does not include concrete political instruments, rendering it impossible to quantify its direct effects. The 2018 reform to this law includes the addition of Mexico’s first NDC sectoral emission reduction targets for transport, electricity generation, buildings, oil & gas, industry, agriculture and waste sectors. The fact that the sectoral targets were included in national legislation was, unfortunately, used as an argument against updating and increasing ambition of Mexico’s NDC, as argued by representatives of the Ministry of Environment during public consultations (SEMARNAT, 2020a). The law was further reformed in 2020 to remove the Climate Change Fund and is in the process of being reformed again to eliminate the National Climate Change Institute.

Part of the institutional framework required by this Climate Change General Law includes the development of a National Strategy on Climate Change, providing long-term planning, and a Special Programme on Climate Change (PECC) for the short-term planning. Mexico’s last National Strategy on Climate Change was published in 2013.

A new version of the PECC was published in December 2021 (SEMARNAT, 2021). This document includes targets for 2030 to be achieved by the development and implementation of 169 specific actions under four priority objectives (adaptation, mitigation, co-benefits derived from synergies between adaptation and mitigation, and climate governance).

Objective 2: “reduce greenhouse gas emissions” lists a number of actions around the energy transition, which seem to be contradictory to the rollback of energy policies in the last few years:

  • Plan the incorporation of clean energy for electricity generation (action 2.1.1);
  • Increase energy efficiency & sustainability for electricity generation (action 2.1.3);
  • Modify NOM-163 for light duty vehicles (action 2.2.5); and
  • Promote the development of science & technology needed for the energy transition (action 4.5.1);

The document states that Mexico’s vision towards 2030 is to be a leader in the development and implementation of innovative policies to face the climate crisis, including using the renewable energy needed for a low-emissions energy transition. Given the reforms and restructuring of Mexico’s climate policies and institutions, it remains to be seen how and if the targets of the new PECC will be implemented.

In 2014, Mexico implemented a carbon tax that was set at approximately at US$3.5/tCO2e differentiated by fuel type (SEMARNAT, 2014). This tax generated about US$263 million in 2019. However, its impact on GHG emission reduction is unclear and, given its low rate, a substantial emission reduction is unlikely. At the end of 2017, the regulation for the use of emission reduction credits for compliance under the carbon tax in Mexico came into force. This regulation establishes the allowance of Certified Emissions Reductions (CERs)—from CDM projects in Mexico—as well as Green Certified Emission Reductions—in the EU ETS—as payment means under the carbon tax (REGLAS de Carácter General Para El Pago Opcional Del Impuesto Especial Sobre Producción y Servicios a Los Combustibles Fósiles Mediante La Entrega de Los Bonos de Carbono., 2017; World Bank Group and Ecofys, 2018).

In 2017, Mexico began a simulation of a voluntary Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The General Climate Change Law was amended later that year – and approved in 2018 by the Mexican Senate – to make the scheme mandatory as soon as its three-year pilot phase concludes. The preliminary regulations for the Mexican ETS were published in October 2019 followed by the start of the pilot phase in January 2020, 1.5 years later than originally planned (SEMARNAT, 2019b). The third year (2022) was established as the transition period between the pilot and ‘operative’ phases.

The regulations indicate that the emissions cap for each of the periods of the trial phase (one per calendar year) is determined based on the reported historical emissions of participants and Mexico’s NDC (SEMARNAT, 2019b). Defining the ETS cap on historical emissions puts the programme at risk of not achieving substantial emissions reductions. The cap should instead be set based on ambitious international climate commitments that are in line with the Paris Agreement goal.

The ETS will not replace the existing carbon tax.

Emissions projections from policies

Emissions in Mexico have continuously increased since 1990. Total emissions excluding the forestry sector grew around 37% between 1990 and 2019 (INECC, 2021b). The largest contributor to total emissions is the energy sector, which accounted for nearly two thirds of total emissions excluding the forestry sector in 2019. Most emissions in 2019 stem from the use of fossil fuels. Between 1990 and 2019 the sectors where emissions grew the most were waste (71% increase) and industrial product and product use (IPPU, with 56% increase).

It is worth noting that as of 2013, historical emissions as reported by the inventory are higher than the already high emissions projections under the NDC BAU baseline. Because of methodological changes in the latest inventory such as updating to the latest 2019 refinement to the 2006 IPCC Guidelines, estimations of emissions for the industry sector (electronic industry and its subcategories), the forestry sector (now based on satellite monitoring data), the agriculture sector (enteric fermentation and fertiliser use), and the transport sector (for light vehicles) (INECC, 2021c).

We estimate that Mexico’s emissions under current policies will increase towards the end of the decade, climbing to up to 807-831 MtCO2e in 2030, excluding LULUCF. These projections account for a decrease in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

We estimated a range based on the likelihood of implementation of major policies in the electricity, transport and buildings sectors (see the Assumptions section for more details). The upper end assumes that the mitigation potential outlined in the latest electricity planning will not be achieved, whereas the lower end considers the potential as presented in “PRODESEN 2021-2034” (Centro Nacional de Control de Energía, 2021). We have assumed the range given the government’s prioritisation of fossil fuels and the rollback of policies supporting renewable electricity generation. Our analysis suggests that Mexico will need to implement additional policies to meet its unconditional and conditional NDC targets in 2030.

Sectoral pledges

In Glasgow, four sectoral initiatives were launched to accelerate climate action on methane, the coal exit, 100% EVs and forests. At most, these initiatives may close the 2030 emissions gap by around 9% - or 2.2 GtCO2e, though assessing what is new and what is already covered by existing NDC targets is challenging.

For methane, signatories agreed to cut emissions in all sectors by 30% globally over the next decade. The coal exit initiative seeks to transition away from unabated coal power by the 2030s or 2040s and to cease building new coal plants. Signatories of the 100% EVs declaration agreed that 100% of new car and van sales in 2040 should be electric vehicles, 2035 for leading markets, and on forests, leaders agreed “to halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation by 2030”.

NDCs should be updated to include these sectoral initiatives, if they aren’t already covered by existing NDC targets. As with all targets, implementation of the necessary policies and measures is critical to ensuring that these sectoral objectives are actually achieved.

  • Methane pledge: Mexico signed the methane pledge at COP26. Methane was responsible of over a fourth of Mexico’s GHG emissions in 2019 (INECC, 2021b). Nearly 60% of those emissions stem from enteric fermentation in the agriculture sector, followed by the waste sector with nearly 30% and then the energy sector with around 10%. However, recent research indicates that methane emissions from oil and gas production are underreported in Mexico’s inventory (see Energy section below).
    In its NDC, Mexico outlines 30 measures to achieve its unconditional 2030 NDC target. Four are directly linked to reducing methane emissions (INECC, 2018a; Muñozcano, n.d.); two in the oil and gas sector, one in the agriculture sector, and one in the waste sector (see sectors below for more information).
    Achieving the pledge of a 30% reduction in all sectors (assuming all countries should reduce equally) would translate to reducing around 47 MtCO2e per year (based on emissions from 2019) and would likely require additional measures as those outlined in Mexico’s NDC.
    Aside from signing the Methane pledge, Mexico is also part of the Global Methane Initiative (GMI), the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) and the North American Climate, Clean Energy and Environment Alliance. In June 2022, President Lopez Obrador included the goal to invest 2 billion USD to reduce methane emissions from oil & gas exploration (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, 2022).

  • Forestry: Mexico signed the forestry pledge at COP26. In its NDC, Mexico outlines mitigation measures for the forestry, the first of those being ‘to reach zero deforestation by 2030 through its National REDD+ Strategy’. The government estimates the mitigation potential from achieving zero deforestation from 157,000 ha (in 2015) and sustainably manage forests as 46 MtCO2e in 2030 in its NDC (INECC, 2018b).

Energy

Mexican greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector have increased by 34% between 1990 and 2019 (INECC, 2021b). This sector alone was responsible for nearly two thirds of all greenhouse gas emissions in Mexico in 2019 (excl. the forestry sector).

Despite the increasing emissions, Mexico’s government continues to go backwards on climate by favouring fossil fuels over renewable energy generation. This includes the cancellation of successful policy instruments that led to the construction 65 new solar and wind power plants, construction of a new oil refinery in the State of Tabasco, the purchase of another in the US, the prioritisation of supply from fossil fuel generation over renewables, and federal budget allocation to the “modernisation” of coal, diesel, gas and oil-fuelled power plants—some of which the previous administration had already scheduled for retirement (Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, 2021a; Reuters, 2021; Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, 2021; SENER, 2018).

The decision to favour fossil fuel generation over renewable energy now puts Mexico on a path that is even more inconsistent with the steps it needs to take to achieve the Paris Agreement's 1.5°C limit. Its plans for the power sector stand in stark contrast to what is required to achieve the 1.5°C limit. The Mexican government’s decisions also bring into question whether it will achieve its clean energy targets under the 2015 Energy Transition Law (LTE, in Spanish) , and General Climate Change Law: 25% of electricity generation in 2018, 30% in 2021, and 35% in 2024 (Ley de Transición Energética, 2015).

With 23.2% of clean generation, the LTE’s 2018 goal of 25% was not achieved (SENER, 2020). In its second trimestral report of 2021, the Federal Economic Competition Commission (COFECE, in Spanish) estimated that Mexico will get to 29.8% clean energy, far from the 2024 goal of 35% (COFECE, 2021). A 2021 Presidential Decree reforming the Electric Industry Law (LIE, in Spanish) that prioritises electricity supply from the Federal Electricity Commission (CFE, in Spanish) over other participants (i.e. private renewable energy electricity producers) will most likely increase this gap (Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, 2021a).

Clean energy according to Mexican law includes renewable energy sources, nuclear power, Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) as well as efficient fossil gas cogeneration (Ley de La Industria Eléctrica, 2014). A reform proposal to the Energy Transition Law proposed by President Lopez Obrador in 2021 was stopped in Congress in April 2022 (C. García, 2022).

With its reform proposal, the government intended to limit the participation of private electricity producers by mandating that the Federal Electricity Commission generates at least 54% of electricity, even though it currently produces electricity at higher marginal costs and emissions than private, renewable generators (Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, 2021b). The reform pretended that electricity dispatch would no longer depend on generation costs but on technology, prioritising the Federal Electricity Commission’s fossil fuel-based plants over wind and solar (SENER, 2022). It also proposed eliminating the National Centre of Energy Control (CENACE) – a regulating institution – and the Clean Energy Certificates.

An analysis by the US National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that implementing the changes included in the proposed reform would lead to increases in electricity production costs; increased consumption of natural gas, fuel oil and, coal; and increased emissions of CO2, SO2 and NOx (Bracho et al., 2022).

The government has continuously allocated federal money on fossil fuel infrastructure. Most of the 2019 budget allocated to the Federal Electricity Company (CFE, in Spanish) was invested in the ‘modernisation’ of coal, diesel, oil and fossil gas power plants, some of which the previous administration had planned to retire. As part of the Federal Budget for 2021 and again in 2022, over 70% of the budget under ‘climate change mitigation and adaptation effects’ has been allocated to the transport of natural gas (Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, 2020, 2021). The Federal budget also allocates a substantial amount of money to build the Dos Bocas oil refinery in Tabasco.

In January 2019, Mexico’s government announced the cancellation of the 2018 long-term renewable electricity auction (Centro Nacional de Control de Energía, 2019). This auction was intended to assign contracts for the trading of power, cumulative electric energy and clean energy certificates from 2021 onwards, but was suspended end of 2018—this was one of the first decisions after Lopez Obrador took office in December 2018 (Centro Nacional de Control de Energía, 2018a, 2018b). The first three rounds of auctions – between 2015 and 2018 – resulted in 65 new wind and solar power plants (SENER, 2018). These electricity auctions also led to record low generation prices. Furthermore, the government is using COVID-19 as a reason to further postpone the integration of renewables into the National Electrical System (Government of Mexico, 2020).

Another example of the country’s support of fossil fuels over renewables was the Energy Sectoral Program 2020-2024 (PROSENER), where fossil fuel related funding accounted for 95.7%, in stark contrast with the 1.3% destined for activities towards an energy transition (K. García, 2020a). This policy document was also blocked by the Courts after another lawsuit by Greenpeace, temporarily halting its implementation (K. García, 2020b).

Oil & gas production

In 2019, Mexico ranked as the 11th largest global oil producer (Zavala-Araiza et al., 2021). In its pursuit for energy autonomy, Lopez Obrador’s government has bet on increasing oil & gas production.

After fast-tracking the permitting process, the construction of the “Dos Bocas” refinery in Tabasco began in June 2019 (Fanny Miranda, 2019). Then, in early 2021, the state-owned oil company PEMEX took full ownership of an oil refinery in Deer Park, Texas. These projects, together with López Obrador´s policy to foster fossil fuels in Mexico, have been heavily criticised by environmental groups nationally and internationally (Alberto Nájar, 2019).

The criticism refers to concerns about climate change – with Mexico’s emissions going in the opposite direction of net zero – and concerns regarding safety, as the “Dos Bocas” refinery location is prone to hurricanes and flooding, as well as impacts on the local environment and population (CEMDA, 2019; Forbes, 2019).

In 2021, scientific research of atmospheric observations of Mexico’s onshore and offshore oil and gas production revealed that methane emissions could be significantly under reported in its national inventory (Zavala-Araiza et al., 2021). These emissions stem from inefficient gas flaring. The research reveals that inaccuracies between onshore and offshore vary but can be up to 20 times higher than reported for some production sites. The analysis suggests that the main driver of inaccuracies between observations and the inventory is the use of generic emission factors for flaring – while offshore flaring might be overestimated in the inventory, onshore flaring is much more inefficient.

Mexico has been a member of the Global Methane Initiative since 2004 and signed the methane pledge at COP26. It also outlines two methane specific measures related to reducing methane emissions in the oil and gas sector: measure IV.1: execute the Global Methane Initiative (GMI, member since 2004) with a potential of 9.5 MtCO2e in 2030, and measure IV.2: reducing fugitive emissions through the NAMA—with an estimated emissions potential of 2.8 MtCO2e/year.

In 2018, Mexico published a set of guidelines to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industries (Agencia Nacional de Seguridad Industrial y de Protección al Medio Ambiente del Sector Hidrocarburos., 2018). In June 2022 it announced it is spending USD 2bn to reduce methane emissions from oil & gas exploration by 98% (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, 2022).

Transport

Transport emissions in Mexico increased by 36% between 1990 and 2019 (INECC, 2021b). In 2019, transport sector emissions – mostly from fossil fuel burning – reached 148 MtCO2e, equivalent to 21% of total emissions (excl. the forestry sector). Over 90% of transport emissions come from road transport, and emissions in this sector are expected to continue to rise.

According to the NDC BAU baseline, by 2030, the transport sector will have the highest emissions growth (1.5 times higher in 2030 than in 2013) and the highest emissions share (28% of total emissions). Road transport will continue to represent the main source of transport emissions. The national vehicle fleet has gone from 15.6 million in 2000 to over 50 million in 2020 (INEGI, 2022).

The transport sector is also one of the main sources of air pollution in Mexican cities and is responsible for around 21,000 premature deaths in Mexico per year and chronic health problems in the population (SEMARNAT, 2017). Mexico presented a National Air Quality strategy in 2017 – a cross-sectoral strategic planning document. Mexico has also established several ProAire programmes to improve air quality in cities and states (SEMARNAT, 2022). Mexico has been working on an electro mobility strategy since 2018 (Ceyrón, 2018).

In its NDC, Mexico commits to unconditionally reduce transport emissions by 18% by 2030 below BAU projections (equivalent to 213 MtCO2e in 2030) (Government of Mexico, 2015). Instead of leading to lower emissions, this target means emissions from transport can still increase by around 55 MtCO2e by 2030 above 2019 levels – leading to worse pollution levels than today. The same document lists specific measures to achieve the targets. For the transport sector, the NDC lists eight measures focused on fuel efficiency in light and heavy vehicles, and improved public transportation.

Mexico was the first Latin American country to establish fuel efficiency standards for light vehicles in 2013 under “NOM-163”. The standards were put in place by 2016, but then halted in 2017—the 2016 values were applied for 2017 and 2018. Its reimplementation is being discussed between the government, social and private sectors since. In 2018, the Environment Ministry published a proposal for the period 2019-2025, which has still not been approved (SEMARNAT, 2018). A study by INECC estimates that not having this NOM in place between 2017 and 2019 led to a cumulative emissions increase of nearly 11 MtCO2, and projects the emissions to further increase by 7 MtCO2 in the period 2020 to 2022 if the standards are not reinstated (Mariscal Jurado et al., 2021).

The modification of NOM-163 is outlined as a specific action under the 2021 Special Climate Change Program (PECC, in Spanish) but given the planning document does not provide a specific proposal (SEMARNAT, 2021), its implementation remains to be seen.

After a fiscal reform was approved by the Congress in 2014, Mexico established a tax on manufacturers, producers and importers for the sale and import of fossil fuels according to their carbon content (IEPS, in Spanish) (Presidente de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, 2014).

Since January 2022, the Mexican government has subsidised gasoline and diesel by removing the IEPS tax (Saldívar, 2022). As a result of global increase in fuel prices stemmed from the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine, it increased the subsidy to 100% – losing around MXN 70bn (USD 3.5bn) compared to previous years (Expansión, 2022).

Land use and Forest

The land use, land-use change and forestry has been a stable sink in Mexico over the last 20 years.

In its NDC, Mexico committed to unconditionally reduce GHG emissions from the forestry sector by 144% in 2030 from a BAU baseline (Government of Mexico, 2015). This means emissions going from 32 MtCO2e in 2030 under a baseline scenario, to -14 MtCO2e under the NDC scenario. Unlike the commitments on other sectors, this commitment was not included in the July 2018 reform to the General Climate Change Law (Government of Mexico, 2015).

Mexico’s REDD+ National Strategy 2017-2030 (ENAREDD+) established strategic action lines with the aim of promoting continued reduction of LULUCF emissions and achieving 0% net deforestation rate by 2030 (CONAFOR, 2017).

From 2020, the ‘Sowing Life Programme’ pays farmers to plant fruit or timber trees on small plots of land to encourage industry in deprived rural areas (Gobierno de Mexico, 2022). Its goal is to plant 1 billion trees. However, its impact is still unclear as planting big swaths of commercial species, sometimes on land that held native forests, can potentially end up increasing deforestation rates (de Haldevang, 2021). Although it was developed as a social programme, the government now refers to it as a strategy against climate change. In June 2022, President Lopez Obrador included the programme as one of the ten ‘climate’ actions presented at President Biden’s Major Economies Forum on Energy and Environment (Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores, 2022).

Agriculture

Agriculture emissions in Mexico have increased by 20% between 1990 and 2019 (INECC, 2021b). In 2019, emissions in this sector– most of which are methane – reached 133 MtCO2e, equivalent to 18% of total emissions (excl. the forestry sector). These emissions are already much higher than the NDC baseline, which estimated emissions from agriculture would reach 90 MtCO2e in 2020, and 93 MtCO2e in 2030.

In its NDC, Mexico committed to unconditionally reduce GHG emissions from the agriculture sector by 144% in 2030 from a BAU baseline (Government of Mexico, 2015). To achieve this goal, Mexico lists three measures: 1. Reduce crop residue burning, 2. install biodigesters (to reduce methane emissions) and 3. substitute synthetic fertilisers with organic. The mitigation potential for these measures has been estimated as 26 MtCO2e for measure 1, 14 MtCO2e for measure 2 and 7 MtCO2e for measure 3 (INECC, 2018b).

Waste

According to Mexico’s inventory data, emissions from the waste sector have gone from 14 MtCO2e to 49 MtCO2e between 1990 and 2019, making this the sector with the highest emissions increase over this period, at a 71% increase (INECC, 2021b).

In its NDC, Mexico committed to unconditionally reduce GHG emissions from the waste sector by 28% in 2030 from a BAU baseline (Government of Mexico, 2015). This commitment has been added to the General Climate Change Law in its July 2018 reform (Government of Mexico, 2015). To achieve this target, the NDC mentions two measures: 1. Reach zero methane emissions from landfills, and 2. Stop open air waste burning. These measures have been estimated to have a potential mitigation potential of around 15 MtCO2e in 2030 (INECC, 2018b).

In November 2021, a legislative proposal for a General Circular Economy Law was approved by the Mexican Senate (Cámara de Senadores del H. Congreso de la Unión, 2021). This law’s main objective is to establish a general regulatory framework for a transition to a circular economy model. It aims to establish that the market value of products, materials and resources are maintained during the economic cycle to reduce waste production. It encourages re-design, recycling, and reutilisation of products in the industry. So far, this law has no direct link to the National Policy on Climate Change (INECC, 2021a).

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