From Hector Sanchez Fernandez of GT Mexico City

On June 6, the General Law of Climate Change appeared in the Federation Official Gazette (Diario Oficial de la Federaciòn).  Read it here.       

The Law provides for the establishment of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (“INECC”) as a public agency of the Mexican federal government, to be directed by a governing board of six experts, called Social Counselors.  INECC will develop a permanent system to analyze sustainable development and energy projects and will promote cooperation among federal, state, and municipality authorities. This Institute will have an Evaluation Department headed by an expert in environmental and climate change matters that will review projects and file recommendations.   

The approved Law also seeks to encourage new private production of electricity using renewable energy technologies and cogeneration and also seeks to control emissions of pollutants.   

A Climate Change Fund will be created from national and international public and private sources to support the implementation of climate change actions and projects. 

The Law sets requirements for mandatory emissions measurement, reporting and verification; the failure to meet these periodical reporting requirements will result in fines and penalties between five hundred and ten thousand times the daily general minimum wage in Mexico City (62.33 pesos / US $4.30).  

The Federal Attorney for Environmental Protection (“PROFEPA”) will be the responsible authority for determining and imposing sanctions, and will have authority to pursue civil and criminal enforcement.  

The Law sets a national goal to reduce emissions with respect to current baseline by 30 percent by 2020 and 50 percent below 2000 levels by 2050.  

In addition, the Law provides that at least 35 percent of the country’s electricity shall come from alternative sources by 2024. 

The new law also addresses the specific problem of deforestation, seeking to move towards a rate of 0% carbon net loss from forest ecosystems. 

The Law calls for development of a new National Climate Change Strategy by 2013, with specific goals for 10, 20 and 40 years into the future (revised at least every 10 years for mitigation, and every six years for adaptation, without permitting target reductions).  The Law calls for creation of a new Special Program on Climate Change to be renewed with each six year term,  and state and municipal Programs on Climate Change. 

The current Special Program on Climate Change 2009-2012 can be viewed here. 

To review the current National Climate Change Strategy from 2007 click here. 

To review the Executive Summary in English of that 2007 National Climate Change Strategy, click here.