Climate change is a global problem with growing impacts that include changes in weather patterns, sea-level rise, worsening of extreme weather events, among others. Despite advances in knowledge about climate change and the actions taken by many countries to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, emissions continue to grow.

The National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC) explained how Mexico has strengthened its institutional framework and carried out various measures to mitigate GHG emissions, including the publication of three National Climate Change Strategies; the adoption of the Special Program on Climate Change in 2009; and the submission of six national communications to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The General Law on Climate Change also came into force in October 2012, and in December 2015, Mexico presented its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in Paris to mitigate its GHG emissions. In addition, Mexico has established an indirect tax on GHG emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels and a binding target promising that by 2024, at least 35% of energy will be generated by renewable sources.

On September 25, 2015, 193 countries adopted the UN’s “Transforming Our World: 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” The agenda contains 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will make it possible to achieve substantial progress in three fundamental areas for humanity: eradicating extreme poverty, combating inequality and injustice, and finding a solution to climate change.

The Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) explained that the actions required to achieve Mexico’s sustainable development goals and objectives include promoting the coherence of public policies; analyzing the costs, benefits and political capital of projects; improving intersectoral coordination, involving various actors in the different economic and political processes to establish a detailed plan of the activities with clearly defined incentives; improving the adaptive capacity of people, policies and institutions; and creating systems that reduce risk, decrease deforestation and develop the energy sector.

The relationship between the 2030 Agenda, the Paris Agreement and the co-benefits of implementing the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the NDC was addressed. In addition, the institutional architecture must be strengthened so that the SDGs are included in the national development and budget plans and an efficient measurement system is implemented.

In conclusion, the key is to coordinate the environmental processes to consolidate the goals and actions of the different agencies. This will help establish coherent plans and increase support for the objectives so that they can be implemented.

The seminar was organized by the ITAM Energy and Natural Resources Center and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.