Mexico and the Paris Agreement: A Closer Look
The Paris Agreement, adopted in December 2015, is a legally binding international agreement on climate change. Its goal is to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Countries that ratify the agreement are required to submit nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
Mexico was one of the early adopters of the Paris Agreement, signing it on April 22, 2016, the same day it was opened for signature at the United Nations headquarters in New York City. Subsequently, Mexico ratified the agreement on September 28, 2016.
Mexico`s NDCs are ambitious, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22% by 2030 compared to its business as usual scenario. This target is further increased to 36% with international support, which includes financial resources, technology transfer, and capacity building.
Mexico`s NDCs also include specific measures and policies to achieve its emissions reduction targets. These measures include:
1. Boosting renewable energy: Mexico aims to increase the share of renewable energy in its electricity mix to 35% by 2024. To achieve this, it plans to install 35 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2024, which includes 20 GW of solar power and 14.5 GW of wind power.
2. Reducing emissions from transportation: Mexico aims to reduce the carbon intensity of its transportation sector by 30% by 2030 compared to 2013 levels. This will be achieved through measures such as promoting public transportation, improving vehicle efficiency, and shifting to lower-carbon fuels.
3. Increasing energy efficiency: Mexico aims to reduce energy consumption in buildings by 8% by 2030 compared to 2013 levels. To achieve this, it plans to implement energy efficiency codes for buildings, promote the use of efficient appliances, and improve the energy efficiency of public buildings.
Mexico`s efforts to implement its NDCs have been recognized by the international community. In 2019, Mexico was the first country in the world to issue a sovereign green bond, raising $2 billion to finance climate change projects. The bond was oversubscribed, indicating strong investor interest in Mexico`s green transition.
However, Mexico`s commitment to the Paris Agreement has come under scrutiny in recent years. In 2018, the newly elected president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, cancelled the construction of a new airport in Mexico City, citing environmental concerns. However, the cancellation led to criticism that the decision would increase greenhouse gas emissions from air travel, which could undermine Mexico`s emissions reduction targets.
Moreover, Mexico`s energy policies have shifted towards supporting fossil fuels, particularly oil, in recent years. In 2019, the government cancelled a number of renewable energy auctions, citing concerns about overcapacity. Critics argued that the cancellation would undermine investor confidence in Mexico`s renewable energy sector, which is crucial to achieving its emissions reduction targets.
In conclusion, Mexico`s commitment to the Paris Agreement is crucial to global efforts to combat climate change. While its NDCs are ambitious and its green bond issuance is laudable, Mexico`s energy policies and decisions need to be aligned with its emissions reduction targets, and it needs to show its commitment to implementing them in the long term. By doing so, Mexico can not only contribute to the global climate effort but also reap the benefits of a green transition, including job creation, energy security, and public health benefits.