Mexico has remained ambitious and innovative in advancing climate policy goals, especially when compared with other developing countries. While most Non-Annex I countries have submitted one or possibly two national communications, Mexico stands alone, having submitted it’s fourth. Further, Mexico has one of the most efficient and modern cement industries in the world, as well as a remarkably advanced iron and steel sector. Yet, there remains room for improvement. With the creation of “Mexico’s Special Program on Climate Change” (PECC), the country set forth some very ambitious mitigation goals. While the first section of the PECC lists sets of sector-specific mitigation objectives and goals to be reached by 2012, the second section describes long term goals such as a 50% reduction of emissions by 2050 compared to 2000 levels. In order for Mexico to achieve a low carbon development path that enables simultaneous sustained economic growth and verifiable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, Mexico will require public policies that create incentives that are complimented by international financial assistance. In partnership with USAID and Abt Associates, CCAP has launched a program to assist Mexican policy makers in the advancement of low carbon development goals.
In previous projects, CCAP investigated sectoral approaches to assist Mexico in achieving low carbon development goals. Though already environmentally advanced, the cement and iron and steel industries still hold great potential for emission reductions. Industry leaders in these sectors have also been quite responsive to the design of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) for their plants. To implement NAMAs, Mexico will also require guidance for the establishment of a protocol for standardized monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) of its low carbon development activities. MRV is an essential component of climate policy as it can build credibility, increase trust, impose pressure to meet commitments, enable transparency, and induce greater participation. CCAP policy analysts are therefore placing great importance on the design of MRV, as a robust MRV system will further serve to strengthen Mexico’s reputation as a leader in developing country climate policy.
Mexico’s advanced environmental efforts come at a time when great debates surround the creation or extermination of a number of emissions reductions mechanisms. The end to the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol is quickly approaching, bringing with it questions of the survival of its emissions-reducing market based mechanisms. Before the end of the Kyoto commitment period, a new international framework needs to be negotiated and ratified, guaranteeing the future existence of mitigation mechanisms that will achieve significant emissions reductions. NAMAs will take center stage as the priority mechanism to help developing countries achieve emissions reductions. Mexico’s responsiveness to the development of NAMAs in the cement and iron and steel sectors will ensure it remains a climate pioneer for the developing world. CCAP hopes its current work to design sectoral NAMAs and develop MRV in Mexico will contribute to Mexico’s economic and environmental prosperity, while also contributing insight and example to inform the upcoming December COP negotiations in Cancun, Mexico.