An Integrated National Climate Policy in Mexico
Mexico is the first developing country to have implemented a climate change law. Approved in 2012, and based on several years of experience in the field, the law provides a climate change policy framework and sets the ground for (1) the establishment of an institutional arrangement, involving all relevant stakeholders and levels (national and subnational) in a national climate change system composed of several entities that promote participation and articulation among them; (2) the development of climate planning tools like a climate change strategy and a climate change programme; (3) the creation of a climate fund; (4) the promotion of policy instruments including a carbon tax and establishing carbon market based approaches; and (5) the roles of evaluation and follow-up of climate action in the country.
The current Special Programme on Climate Change (PECC), for the period 2014–2018, includes 23 quantified mitigation measures at the federal level that will lead to a reduction in emissions of 83 MtCO 2 e in 2018 compared to the baseline.
In particular, the General Climate Change Law is groundbreaking. It paved the way for an institutional and policy response to climate change, which is considered good practice, given its comprehensiveness, political leadership and integrated approach involving different levels of government.
- Legitimacy and validity: Counting on a solid institutional arrangement consisting of a multi-stakeholder and multi-level organisation like the Inter-secretarial Commission on Climate Change, complemented by the Climate Change Council, gives validity and adds legitimacy to any climate change process in the country. For example, the process of definition and approval of the INDC for the country was framed along the already existing Strategy and Programme. The consultation process was fast and well organised, based on the existing institutional arrangement, including participative workshops and a nation-wide survey.
- Energy sector reform: The Law establishes that, by 2020, a system of incentives to promote the generation of electricity through renewable energy sources must have been established. As a target for 2024, at least 35% of electricity generation must come from clean sources. By the end of 2013, the government enacted a series of energy reforms to open up the energy sector to new players and ideas, planning to gradually remove subsidies for oil products and electricity tariffs (IRENA, 2015). The reform also includes the establishment of a Clean Energy Certificate trading scheme in order to promote sustainable energy and the use of renewable sources.
- The inclusion of Short Lived Climate Pollutants as part of the targeted emissions reductions – both in the climate change strategy as well as the INDC – is expected to lead to significant co-benefits associated with the improvement of local air quality and a decrease in adverse health impacts.
The Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT): In charge of coordination the national climate change policies and of developing, together with other federal secretariats, mitigation and adaptation activities.
The National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC): Created as part of the General Climate Change Law (on the basis of the existing National Institute of Ecology), INECC is in charge of generating and integrating the technical and scientific knowledge and strengthening human resources and capacities for the formulation, implementation and evaluation of public policies for mitigation and adaptation to climate change.
Inter-secretarial Commission on Climate Change: Reinstalled by the General Climate Change Law, this Commission integrates 14 Ministries involved in mitigation and adaptation policy and actions.