Inclusion of adaptation in Mexico's climate commitment, sets the pace - WWF

Posted on
31 marzo 2015

México City, 30 March 2015 – Last Friday, Mexico became the first developing country to formally submit its post-2020 climate change plans to the UN. It followed the European Union, Switzerland and Norway in laying out their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Mexican Environment and Natural Resources Minister Juan José Guerra and Mexican Foreign Affairs Minister José Antonio Meade, announced that, for the first time, Mexico would commit to an unconditional target to reduce 25% of its GHG and compounds, including a reduction of 22% in the direct emissions of CO2, methane, nitrous oxide and chlorofluorocarbons. Those reductions, they said, can increase to 40% if a global climate change agreement is reached in Paris to secure enough financial support to mitigate GHG in developing countries and guarantee technology transfer for those economic sectors that emit the most.
Mexico would support a legally-binding agreement at the Paris climate change conference, which should include a framework of unified and equitable rules, according to Minister Meade.  Firm national actions were needed to promote dialogue with other countries and Mexico called on all countries to join this collective effort, he said.
“We commend Mexico for being the first developing country to present its climate action plan. It sets a positive tone and continues to show leadership in the multilateral climate process. It is proposing an emissions peak and a decoupling of emissions from economic growth, which is laudable. Also, over 60% of the potential considered is stated as unconditional which is the first unconditional target for Mexico,” said Omar Vidal, Director General of WWF Mexico.  
The mitigation goal is still above what the 2º C pathway mandated by the UN. According to WWF’s analyses, the unconditional 2030 goal falls short by 253 MTCO2e and the conditional goal by 389 MTCO2e[i], considering GHG emissions only[ii]. Clarity on the methodological assumptions around the new 2013 baseline would strengthen the commitment. Importantly, an Energy Transition Law - which sets a 2050 goal of producing 60% of the country’s electricity through clean energy sources - is pending approval in Mexico’s Senate and would enable domestic policy.
“A low-carbon development should play a central role into the country’s current and long-term plans and policies. Mexico´s climate plan offers some room for enhancement and calls for renewed domestic policy action. We look forward to continue working with the Mexican government to continue to lead in the run-up to Paris and beyond. All countries, developing and developed must show leadership at this crucial time,” added Vidal.
As part of its commitments to 2030 on adaptation to the impacts of climate change, Mexico´s plans include increasing the adaptation capacity of the country´s 160 most vulnerable municipalities as well as reaching zero deforestation. In early March, Mexico´s Chamber of Deputies announced that is preparing changes to the country´s General Climate Change Law to better detail the obligations of the federal government to “preserve, restore and sustainably manage natural resources in terrestrial, freshwater, marine/coastal and island ecosystems.”   
“Mexico is the first country to include an adaptation commitment - crucial to the fight against harmful climate change - which should motivate others to follow suit. What we’d like to see Mexico and other countries do on the road to Paris and beyond is to include performance indicators and financial support for adaptation. We commend Mexico, as a country vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, for leading the way on adaptation,” said Vidal.
Last year, Mexico also lead by example by being the first developing country to voluntarily pledge financial resources into the Global Climate Fund. Mexico also committed to strong short-term renewable energy targets, unveiling plans last year to provide 25% of its energy from renewable sources by 2018, which can make an important contribution to achieving Mexico´s emission reduction targets. Estimates from WWF show the renewable target - which would mean the country almost doubling its electricity output from renewable sources to 80 TWh by 2018 - could reduce emissions from the power sector by 15%. “This not only means an ambitious, short-term renewable energy target for Mexico, but helps create trust and confidence among all governments in the run-up to the Paris conference and beyond, and sets the pace for other countries with similar potential to ramp-up pre 2020 action,” Vidal added.
"Mexico has been a pioneer in the developing world in the fight against climate change. With the recent announcement of the country's emissions reduction plans, Mexico is again setting a positive precedent for the multilateral process and for reaching a successful climate agreement in Paris,” said Samantha Smith, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate and Energy Initiative.  “What singles out Mexico is its continued progressive position in favor of a binding agreement that would maintain the planet within a 2º C threshold. The commitments must be seen as a positive first step that leaves room for more ambition if the world is to meet the goal of not exceeding  2ºC of global warming, as agreed at the UN climate change conference held in Mexico five years ago," added Smith.
WWF also welcomes and looks forward to knowing the details of the plan announced by the Joint Statement on U.S.-Mexico Climate Policy Cooperation released on 27 March by which Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and US President Barack Obama reaffirmed their commitment to addressing global climate change and to “seize every opportunity to harmonize their efforts and policies towards their common climate goals.” 
A new global climate agreement, expected to be adopted in Paris in December where country plans to reduce emissions are to be inscribed, would be the first to wrest commitments from all nations, and will replace the Kyoto Protocol targets which required GHG reductions only from industrialized nations. These new climate plans – called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs - need to make it technically possible to assess their contribution toward limiting global warming below 2º C. This level of effort must be equitable, taking into consideration historical responsibility and respective capabilities. Adaptation measures, including domestic action and support, must be an integral part of countries climate plans.  
For Editors
Read the Mexico INDC plan here
For further information, contact:
Jatziri Perez
Vanessa Pérez-Cirera
Mandy Jean Woods / @MandyJeanWoods  / +27 72 393 0027
Sam Smith  / @pandaclimate / +47 450 22 149
About WWF - WWF's mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. The Global Climate & Energy Initiative (GCEI) is WWF’s global programme addressing climate change, promoting renewable and sustainable energy, scaling up green finance, engaging the private sector and working nationally and internationally on implementing low carbon, climate resilient development.
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[i] Calculation based on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) most recent report (AR5), using a 50% capability and 50% responsibility criteria, starting in 1950. See
[ii] A previous analysis made by the country estimated a 520 MTCO2e reduction potential in 2030, a good percentage of which could be cost-competitive. See