Mexico’s take on legislating climate change

Student Group: 

A group of three deputies and one senator from the Mexican Congress came to Doha. Their interest is in the legislative efforts at the national level across countries. They spoke about the Mexican experience.

In the GLOBE international climate legislation Side event Deputy Ramón Sampayo head of the commission on climate change of the Mexican congress spoke about the Mexican experience on drafting the General Law on Climate Change. Terry Townshend from GLOBE international introduced the general law on climate change as, “the standout of legislative advance worldwide in 2012”.

The main purpose of the General Law on Climate Change is to regulate emissions to achieve stabilization of their concentration in the atmosphere. It represents the national scheme to address adverse effects of climate change. It comprises five elements that all together conform the legal framework on climate change in Mexico.  The national strategy on climate change, a special program on mitigation, a special program on adaptation, the special general program of climate change and the Climate Change Fund for Mexico.

The National Climate Change Strategy sets the principles. It requires periodical reviews to enhance impact every ten years for mitigation and every six years on adaptation programs. The Special General Program of Climate Change is the planning instrument. The Adaptation and Mitigation programs set the specific activities and goals. But this innovative legal instrument didn’t stop at regulation; it went further to foster implementation. The Climate Change fund will provide financial resources to fulfill the activities established in the special programs. This fund will represent at least 50% of the resources allocated to the national disaster relief fund, “it is cheaper to prevent than to fix” Sampayo noted.

The general law of climate change also establishes deadlines for actions required on the fight against climate change. These deadlines include actions in power generation, transportation, waste management, disaster planning and zoning, among other required activities.

“This past week we signed a pact in the Congress to address climate change with three policies move to a low carbon economy, conservation of water resources and better operations of the waste management” said Deputy Sampayo, “this is good news for the upcoming work of President Peña Nieto, since there is legislative agreement on action in the fight against climate change”.

Jose Medina-Mora, Master in Environmental Management 2013 candidate, Yale school of forestry and environmental studies. All this views are on personal capacity and do not represent any official position.