Mexico Mexico

Mexico climbs four places and enters the top 30, ranked 28th in this year’s CCPI.

The country shows a considerably mixed performance across the categories: rated high for GHG Emissions and for Energy Use, but very low for Renewable Energy and for Climate Policy.

Mexico’s reformed General Law on Climate Change (of 2018) includes commitments to the Paris Agreement, adoption of the 1.5°C target, and a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) as an instrument of national climate policy. The instruments to implement policies in the short and medium terms, however, have not been published, and there is still no net zero target.

Although the climate law includes an Emissions Trading System, the opinions and projections in this assessment reference the 2020 Mexican NDC (reducing national GHG emissions by 22% and black carbon emissions by 51% by 2030) submitted to the UNFCCC. In the first term of 2021, a Mexican NGO filed a suit against the federal government, contesting the NDC. On October 1, a tribunal ruled that the NDC mitigation section did not raise the ambition as envisaged in the Paris Agreement. The legal case is still under consideration by the Judicial Branch.

The CCPI national experts highlighted that possible policy changes could effectively allow continued use of fossil fuels for electricity generation (with the Share of Renewable Energy in Energy Use indicator already rated low, and rating very low compared with a well-below-2°C benchmark). Efforts to expand renewable electricity generation are also insufficient, and there is no plan to phase out use of fossil fuel power generation. The experts believe the federal government has failed to define sufficient decarbonisation pathways to help meet the long-term goals set out in the Paris Agreement. Energy and climate policies are in opposing directions that will undermine emissions reduction efforts.

The experts believe shortcomings in Mexico’s domestic policies are reflected in its International Climate Policy indicator (rated low). It is unwilling to set a net zero target and its continued support for fossil fuel production, infrastructure, and displacement of renewables will undermine its NDC. In the run-up to COP26, Mexico called for more climate financing for Latin America, especially following the economic impact of COVID-19. While the international community is calling for greater climate ambition at COP26, and with the controversial construction of the Dos Bocas refinery, the Mexican Congress is analysing a constitutional reform promoted by the president. This would alter the rules of the energy sector and marginalise renewable generation from private power plants.

The following national experts agreed to be mentioned as contributors for this year’s CCPI: José María Valenzuela (Institute for Science, Innovation and Society), Pablo Ramírez (Greenpeace México), Mariana Gutiérrez Grados & Analuz Presbítero García (Iniciativa Climática de México)

3rd of December 2021: After finding a calculation error in the CCPI 2022, we have revised our data. This effects Mexico`s ranking slightly (+1 rank).

Technical note: how to read the target comparison graph

The graph above shows the development of a country over the past years compared with its Paris compatible pathway and 2030 target. For all three quantitative categories of the CCPI, this visualisation gives an overview of where a country is right now, where it would need to be to fulfil the Paris Agreement promises and where it aims to be in 2030.

For GHG emissions per capita, the data includes LULUCF, as used for the emissions per capita indicator. This leads to the vast changes in emissions of some countries with high forest coverage.
The calculation of individual country target pathways is based on the common but differentiated convergence approach (CDC). It is based on the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities” laid forth in the Framework Convention on Climate Change. All Annex I countries therefore have a decreasing pathway from 1990 onwards, starting at that year’s emissions. 60 years later, in 2050, these countries are expected to reach net zero emissions. All other countries, which did not reach the level of global average emissions in 1990, are allowed to increase emissions until the average is reached. But by latest 2015 these countries, too, have decreasing pathways and 60 years to reach net zero. These pathways start from the global average.

The Renewable Energy data is given in per cent of Total Primary Energy Supply (TPES) and includes hydro energy, consistent with the respective CCPI indicator. As global distribution of Renewables (especially solar and wind) only started in the 2000s, the pathways in this category start in 2010. All countries have an equal goal: 100% Renewables in 2050, each starting from its 2010 value.

For Energy Use the Primary Energy Supply per capita is shown. All pathways for this category start at country’s 1990 values and meet at global average of 80 gigajoules per capita in TPES.
For 2°C and 1.5°C scenarios, a decrease in emissions by reducing the (growth in) energy use is as crucial as deploying renewable (or other low-carbon) technologies. The IPCC carried out a scenario comparison using a large number of integrated assessment models. From the scenarios available, we observe that the total amount of global energy use in 2050 has to be roughly the same level or a bit higher than it is today, with a margin of uncertainty. At the same time population will grow slightly between today and 2050. We therefore pragmatically chose the well-below-2° compatible benchmark to be “same energy use per capita in 2050 as the current global average”, which is 80 gigajoules per capita in TPES.