Mexico presents national climate protection strategy

President at a speaker's desk

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, <br >picture: SEMARNAT

Mexico has reached a further milestone in its efforts to protect the climate and environment. On 3 June 2013, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, the Minister of Environment Juan José Guerra Abud, the President of the Business Coordinating Council, Gerardo Gutierrez Candiani, and the Secretary for the Climate Change Council, Juan Carlos Belausteguigoitia presented the National Climate Change Strategy to an audience of high-ranking guests. The Strategy is part of the General Law on Climate Change, which entered into force in 2012. It will guide the national climate change policy over the next 40 years. The German-Mexican Climate Alliance, which is a project of the International Climate Initiative (ICI) implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) GmbH, is supporting the Mexican government in developing the Strategy.

The National Climate Change Strategy sets out the main activity areas concerning cross-sectoral climate policy, adaptation to climate change and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. It confirms the ambitious Mexican climate mitigation goals to reduce emissions by 30% by the year 2020 with respect to the business-as-usual scenario and by 50% by 2050, as compared with the emissions in the year 2000. This will be followed by the publication of the second national climate mitigation programme in September 2013. The programme defines concrete measures and goals for the current legislative period through November 2018.

During the presentation of the Strategy, Peña Nieto underlined the importance of the environmental and climate protection goals as well as the emission targets of the General Law on Climate Change, and presented lines of action. The other speakers discussed the broad participation of the public in drawing up the Strategy and its role on the path to a sustainable and low-carbon country. The Minister of Environment pointed out that the Strategy would not be a burden for Mexico but would generate growth and create jobs. A cross-cutting issue threading its way through all speeches was the green economy and sustainable growth. It is hoped that the latter, in particular, will improve the living conditions of the poorest sections of the population.

Involving the public and increasing acceptance

During the development of the Climate Change Strategy, the German-Mexican Climate Alliance advised and financed a public survey, in which around 13,000 people from different sections of the Mexican population took part. This successful public participation promotes the acceptance of the Strategy by society at large. In addition, criteria for prioritising measures for adapting to climate change were developed in the context of a broad-based and participatory process, and these are prominently featured in the Strategy. GIZ experts provided technical and professional advice on different topics and policies. Currently the Climate Alliance is assisting in drawing up the climate change protection programme.