Geopolitical Informations

Mexico City
128.7 million (2016)
Total area
1,972,550 km2

Main legislative bodies

  • Congress of the Union (bicameral)

Latest News

Canada, Mexico, United States launch partnership on energy and climate

At the North American Energy Ministers meeting held in Mexico on Monday (May 25), Canada, Mexico and the United States announced the launch of an energy partnership, Reuters reported. A working group was established with the purpose of harmonizing and integrating climate change policy between the countries, enhancing regional cooperation. During the meeting, the three read more…

Mexico sticks to its tradition of taking climate change seriously

In due course before the first informal deadline for countries to announce post-2020 climate goals expired, Mexico become the first developing country to put forward its national contribution for the keenly-awaited conference in Paris this year. In late March Mexico submitted its pledge (namely its “Intended Nationally Determined Contribution”, or INDC according to the lingo read more…

Reactions to first round of national climate pledges submitted to UNFCCC

A series of responses to the INDCs submitted by 35 states have outlined a first feedback to the climate pledges. Feedback was given from numerous stakeholders, inter alia UNFCCC and country officials, climate NGOs and scientists. A shared standpoint is that the submission of national pledges due the first informal deadline of March 31st has read more…

Climate Policy Facts


Year Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF ( MtCO2e) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per Capita ( tCO2e Per Capita) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per GDP ( tCO2e / Million $ GDP)
1990 406.8 4.73 381.63
1991 435.63 4.96 392.12
1992 442.22 4.93 384.12
1993 446.25 4.87 372.49
1994 471.59 5.04 375.88
1995 459.82 4.82 388.89
1996 483.16 4.97 385.95
1997 503.65 5.09 376.13
1998 528.64 5.25 377.06
1999 526.81 5.15 366
2000 548.55 5.28 361.93
2001 556.72 5.28 369.56
2002 572.33 5.36 379.42
2003 588.99 5.45 384.99
2004 602.89 5.51 377.85
2005 631.77 5.71 384.29
2006 646.56 5.77 374.55
2007 669.41 5.9 375.96
2008 679.67 5.91 376.45
2009 665.87 5.72 386.99
2010 681.87 5.78 377.18
2011 699.05 5.86 371.87

The line chart shows the country’s carbon emissions by year, expressed in million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) for emission totals, and in tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) for per capita and per dollar of GDP values. It is based on data from CAIT platform provided by the World Resource Insititute, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

By selecting or deselecting each item, you can compare or give prominence to particular emission trends.



Energy Source Production (ktoe) TPES (ktoe)
Coal 5989,089 9490,174
Oil 159534,667 100927,191
Natural gas 42187,556 56618,392
Nuclear 2629,255 2629,255
Hydro 3078,456 3078,456
Geothermal 5593,938 5593,938
Solar thermal 137,31 137,31
Solar photovoltaics 3,526 3,526
Tide, wave, ocean 0 0
Wind 118,938 118,938
Biomass 8373,594 8373,594
Biofuels 57,073 57,073
Waste 0 0

The double-doughnut chart shows the country’s energy production and TPES (Total Primary Energy Supply), expressed in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe). It is built on data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/International Energy Agency libraries, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

The INNER RING represents the country’s energy production from each energy source, corresponding to the quantities of fuels extracted or produced.

The OUTER RING shows the country’s total primary energy supply of each fuel. It represents the net quantities of fuels made available on the domestic market, after foreign transfers and trading. According to IEA’s definition, TPES equals production plus imports minus exports minus international bunkers plus or minus stock changes.

Differences between production and TPES are significant as they highlight the actual country’s behaviour in the matter of a given energy source. Production values and TPES values of the same energy source may vary widely, especially in case of the much-traded fossil fuels.


National Policy


In 2015, Mexico submitted its INDCs to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in advance to the COP21 in Paris (see section on ‘International Policy’)

General Law on Climate Change (2012, amendments in 2014)
The General Law on Climate Change (LGCC) of June 6, 2012 sets a legal framework for adaptation and mitigation policies on the transition to a competitive low-carbon economy. It defines planning and policy instruments as well as the basic responsibilities between the federal and subnational actors. Regarding to the former it established three main planning instruments: The National Climate Change Strategy, Special Climate Change Programmes and State Climate Change Programmes. With respect to the latter, the LGCC constitutes the basis for the establishment of several institutions and their respective arrangements. For instance, the LGCC establishes the National System on Climate Change and several of the respective institutions (see below).
Moreover, the LGCC provides for the provision of the necessary resources with the specification of financing policies and market instruments. For instance, the Climate Change Fund aims to capture and channel public, private, national and international financial resources to support the implementation of actions to address climate change. But also evaluation and enforcement policies are part of the LGCC in order to produce the necessary information and to incentivise actions.
Last but not least, the LGCC comprises the targets of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2020 with respect to business-as-usual emissions in line with the Copenhagen Pledge (see “International Policy”) and by 50 percent until 2050 compared to 2000 levels (full document available in pdf; amendments available on the Mexican Congress website).

National System for Climate Change
As just mentioned, the LGCC establishes the National System for Climate Change (SNCC), which allows for the permanent coordination and communication among different governance levels to manage climate change policy. It promotes the cross-application of the national climate policy in the short, medium and the long-term. The SNCC consists of the following institutions and respective representatives:

  • The functions of the Interministerial Commission on Climate Change (CICC) are – among others – to approve the National Strategy on Climate Change (see below), to develop national mitigation and adaptation policies and to coordinate the implementation and mainstreaming of the actions to follow. It is a body of 13 federal ministries, which deal with climate change in its different aspects. The CICC was already established in 2005 with the “Agreement for the creation of the Interministerial Commission on Climate Change”. The full text of the agreement is available here or as pdf.
  • The Council on Climate Change (CCC or C3) is the permanent consultative body of the CICC. It is completed by members from the social, private and academic sectors with renowned reputation and experience in climate change who are appointed by the President of the CICC. The C3 advises the CICC through recommendations to conduct studies or policies and through the public consultation process.
  • The National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC) is a decentralised agency of the federal public administration. It was created by the LGCC. Its tasks cover inter alia research on climate change including scientific support to SEMARNAT (Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources; Spanish Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales) on ecological balance and environmental protection, and the assessment of compliance with adaptation and mitigation measures. As such, it does not only have a evaluating role but the INECC has also the mandate to design policies and to help building capacity in the country for climate policy. Another mandate of the INECC based on the LGCC is the creation of National Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories
  • Representatives of the Special Commission on Climate Change and of the Commission on the Environment and Natural Resources of the Federal Congress due to the legislative responsibility
  • Representatives of the governments of the States, which have to implement federal climate change mitigation and adaptation actions but are also able to set up their own climate change programmes
  • Representatives of the national association of municipal officials which is composed of the Mexican Confederation of Municipalities, the Mexican Association of Local Authorities and the National Association of Mayors

National Strategy for Climate Change 2013
The National Strategy for Climate Change of 2013 is the guiding instrument of the national policy in the short-, medium- and long-term (time horizon of 10, 20 and 40 years) to address the effects of climate change and the transition to a competitive, sustainable and low-carbon economy. The strategy points out eight strategic priorities and lines of action to follow, in order to guide the policies of the three levels of governance, while promoting responsibility among various sectors of the society. The eight axes of action are the reduction of vulnerability to climate change, the reduction of vulnerability of the economy and the infrastructure, he promotion of the adaptability of ecosystems, the acceleration of the transition to clean energy sources, the improvement of energy efficiency, the design of sustainable urban areas, the incentivising of climate-friendly agricultural and forestry practices and the reduction of short-lived climate pollutants. It represents the basis for the Special Climate Change Programme 2014-2018 (see below; document available in pdf).
The strategy follows an earlier version from 2007. Based on this strategy of 2007, also an earlier Special Climate Change Programme for the time period from 2008 until 2012 was created as part of the National Development Plan 2007-2012. An English version of the 2007 strategy is available in pdf.

Special Climate Change Programme 2014-2018
The PECC (Programa Especial de Cambio Climatico 2014-2018) is one of the policy planning instruments derived from the LGCC which presents the Federal government’s contribution to the indicative greenhouse gas emissions reduction goal prescribed by the LGCC for the period 2014-2018 (30% GHG emissions reduction with respect to the business-as-usual scenario by 2020). Published in 2014, it establishes the objectives, strategies, actions and targets to tackle climate change by defining priorities for adaptation, mitigation, research, as well as the allocation of responsibilities, coordination of actions, outcomes and cost estimates, according to the National Strategy on Climate Change of 2013. It supplements the National Development Plan 2013-2018 (full document available in pdf).

Mexico’s Climate Change Mid-Century Strategy
The Mid-Century Strategy (MCS) of Mexico on climate change is based on the National Strategy on Climate Change of 2013. However, the MCS is intended to represent a guiding instrument for the national climate change policy on the medium- and the long-term, without defining or prescribing concrete short-term actions. As such, it only describes strategic lines of actions in seven important areas (society and population, ecosystems, energy, emissions, productive systems, private sector and mobility).
The MCS considers two scenarios. The first is based on the unconditional INDC target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent from baseline by 2030 and the long-term goal of reducing emissions by 50 percent by 2050 compared to 2000 levels. The second scenario explores a more ambitious policy pathway based on the conditional INDC target (36 percent reduction until 2030 compared to the baseline) and with additional policies. The MCS is available in English as pdf.


Energy Transition Law 2016
The Energy Transition Law of 2016 merged the Law on the Use of Renewable Energies and Financing the Energy Transition (LAERFTE; Spanish Ley para el Aprovechamiento de Energías Renovables y el Financiamiento de la Transición Energética) and the Law for Sustainable Energy Use (LASE; Ley para el Aprovechamiento Sustentable de la Energía), which were both adopted in 2008. Moreover, the National Project for Support of Efficient Municipal Lighting of 2010 and the Programme for Energy Savings and Efficiency by Companies of 2011 were integrated into the new Law. In addition, the Energy Transition Law includes several targets for the generation of electricity from clean energy: 25 percent by 2018, 30 percent by 2021 and 35 percent by 2024. However, it needs to be reflected that the term “clean energy” includes also the co-generation of electricity with natural gas.
The LAERFTE was seeking to reduce Mexico’s dependence on hydrocarbons as the primary source of energy, inter alia by establishing the Energy Transition Fund. Moreover, it promoted and regulated the use of renewable energy sources and clean technology for electricity generation through the Special Programme for Renewable Energy Use 2014-2018. According to this programme, a share of almost 35 percent renewable energy capacity (be aware of the difference to the actual generation as contained in the Energy Transition Law) and of 25 percent in electricity consumption should be achieved by 2018 (document available here or as pdf).
The LASE promoted scientific research related to sustainable energy use. It constituted the basis of the National Programme for Sustainable Use of Energy 2014-2018, which followed a first version that was valid for the timeframe from 2009 until 2012. The programme included six main objectives including the development of measures to promote energy efficiency in the energy chain and the strengthening of energy efficiency standards for appliances. Besides, it defined several indicators or the attainment of the objectives such as to limit the energy intensity to 2012 levels or the coverage of 51 percent of energy consumption with energy efficiency regulation (document is available as pdf).

National Energy Strategy 2013-2027
In April 2013, Mexico implemented the National Energy Strategy 2013-2027 (Spanish Estrategia Nacional de Energia), which sets the frame for a major evolution of the energy sector over the time frame until 2027s and aims to increase non-fossil fuel based power generation to 35 percent by 2024 as it is also strived for in the Energy Transition Law (document is available as pdf).

Energy Reform 2014
A larger reform of the energy policy legislation was carried out in 2014 to support competitiveness and efficiency and to promote the development of clean energy. The energy reform introduced the concept of sustainability into the constitution and created or amended 21 laws.
As part of the reform, the Law on the Electricity Industry was adopted to increase the share of electricity from renewable energies. The law forms the basis for the certification of clean energy and for the planning of smart grids.
In addition, the energy reform relates to fossil fuels. For instance, the Law on Hydrocarbons eliminates gasoline subsidies. In contrast to this, it also seeks to attract foreign investments to Mexico’s hydrocarbon sector as there are vast resources in the Gulf of Mexico.
Also the Law on the Mexican Petrol Fund for Stability and Development was revised through the reform which manages the revenues from petrol extraction in Mexico. These revenues contribute a substantial part to the overall government revenues.

Law for Bioenergy Promotion and Development (2007)
The Law for Bioenergy Promotion and Development of 2007 (LPDB; Spanish Ley de Promoción y Desarrollo de los Bioenergéticos) ensures that the Inter‐sectoral Commission for Bioenergy Development promotes the production and commercialisation of bioenergy inputs from activities in rural areas related to agriculture and animal husbandry, forests, seaweed, biotechnology and enzymatic processes. As such, it concentrates more on related research and capacity building than on the actual promotion of related projects and undertakings in the real economy (document available here or as pdf).

Accelerated Depreciation for Investments with Environmental Benefits (2005)
The bill (Spanish Depreciación acelerada para inversiones que reportan beneficios ambientales) allows investors to deduct up to 100 percent of the investment in renewable energy projects from tax liability during the first year, in accordance with General Law for Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection. Once the tax deduction is granted, the plant must remain active for at least five years and serve productive purposes.


Carbon Tax 2014
A carbon tax applying for the use of fossil fuels was introduced in 2014, as part of a wider fiscal reform. According to the official government’s position, the tax “is intended to create awareness of CO2 Emissions, to put a price to carbon and to promote the use of cleaner fuels”. The mechanism allows for the use of offsets of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) in the payment. Following modifications to the initial proposal in the Congress, the approximate price was set at USD 3.5 tCO2e (from an initial USD 5 tCO2e) and natural gas was exempted (for more information see here).

Voluntary platform to trade carbon credits 2013
In 2013 Mexico launched a voluntary platform to trade carbon credits. The mechanism (Spanish Plataforma Mexicana de Carbono MéxiCO2) imposes no binding obligations on companies but provides an electronic forum for voluntarily trading UN-backed CERs (Certified Emission Reductions) and offset certificates issued by emission reduction projects developers.


General Law for Sustainable Forest Development (2003, amendments in 2013)
The General Law for Sustainable Forest Development (Spanish Ley General de Desarrollo Forestal Sustentable) is the main law for forest governance in Mexico. It regulates and promotes conservation, protection, restoration, harvesting, management and use of forest ecosystems and their resources in a sustainable manner. Within its general objectives is the development of forest goods and services, and the respect of the indigenous communities’ preferential uses of forest in their lands. It declares the generation of environmental services as a “public utility,” in compliance with safeguards recognized by international law. A reform in 2012 aimed at the facilitation of implementing the REDD+ projects (document available here or as pdf).

Other AFOLU policies
The National Forestry Programme 2014-2018 established the legal basis for ecosystem services. Moreover, a National Strategy for REDD+ has been adopted.


General Law of Ecological Equilibrium and Environmental Protection (1998, amendments in 2011)
The law (Ley General de Equilibrio Ecológico y de Protección al Ambiente) regulates the provisions of Mexico relating to the preservation and restoration of ecological balance. Full document available in pdf: Mexico_Ley-General-de-Equilibrio-Ecológico-y-de-Protección-al-Ambiente-1988-amends-2011


Mexico’s Special Climate Change Program 2014-2018 (see above) also aims to reduce the vulnerability of the population, ecosystems and productive sectors to climate change, as well as to increase resilience in strategic infrastructure. The Program provides a diagnosis of Mexico’s current climate change situation. It comprises five objectives, 26 strategies and 199 lines of action, of which 77 focus on adaptation, 81 on mitigation and 41 on the construction of public policies for tackling climate change (full document available in pdf).

There is also a project executed until 2018 to mainstream and strengthen ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) in planning and decision-making processes. EbA denotes the strengthening of the population’s ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change through the sustainable use and preservation of ecosystems. The project is commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) as part of the International Climate Initiative (IKI). In Mexico, the leading agencies for the project execution are the Ministry of Environment (SEMARNAT) and the National Commission for Protected Areas (CONANP). More information can be accessed here.


Main sources:

Mexican Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático

Mexican Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT)

Mexico profile by GLOBE International Climate Legislation Study, Fourth Edition. Available on GLOBE website, or download in pdf: Mexico_GLOBE_Fourth_Ed

International Policy

General features

  • Party to the UNFCCC:
    • Date of signature: 13 June 1992
    • Date of ratification: 11 March 1993
    • Date of entry into force: 21 March 1994
  • Member of Kyoto protocol (country with no emission reduction commitments):
    • Date of signature: 9 June 1998
    • Date of ratification: 7 September 2002
    • Date of entry into force: 16 February 2005
    • Date of acceptance of Doha Amendment: 23 September 2014
  • Signatory to the Copenhagen Accord: In January 2010, Mexico submitted its  National Appropriate Mitigation Actions to UNFCCC (Appendix II of the Copenhagen Accord), communicating the aim to reduce its GHG emissions up to 30 percent with respect to the business as usual scenario by 2020, “provided the provision of adequate financial and technological support from developed countries as part of a global agreement” (for official communication see here)
  • Party to the Paris Agreement
    • Date of signature: 22 April 2016
    • Date of ratification: 21 September 2016
    • Date of entry into force: 4 November 2016
  • Post-2020 action
    • Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted in advance of the COP21 (Paris), on March 30, 2015 (for more information on INDCs see here). Following the ratification and entry into force of the Paris Agreement, the INDC has become Mexico’s first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
    • Main actions included in the NDC:
      – Unconditional emissions reduction by 25 percent compared to the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario for 2030 (22 percent greenhouse gases reduction and 51 percent cut of black carbon)
      – Conditional emission reduction by 40 percent compared to BAU by 2030 (36 percent greenhouse gas reduction and 70 percent cut of black carbon), “subject to a global agreement addressing important topics including international carbon price, carbon border adjustments, technical cooperation, access to low-cost financial resources and technology transfer, all at a scale commensurate to the challenge of global climate change”
      – Increasing the adaptive capacity of population, by strengthening local capacity, guaranteeing food security and water access, expanding territorial planning and social participation
      – Reaching a rate of 0 percent deforestation by 2030.

Multilateral and bilateral cooperation

Negotiating position

In 2010 Mexico hosted the Cancun climate negotiation session of UNFCCC (the 16th Conference of the Parties, COP16). On that occasion, Mexico disclosed a general position on mitigation, adaptation, climate finance, technology, REDD+, carbon markets and CDM issues.

In contrast to most other developing countries, Mexico is not part of the G-77 and China but a member of the Environmental Integrity Group (EIG).