Mexico: Mexican General Law of Climate Change

On June 6, 2012, the General Law of Climate Change (the "CCL") (Ley General de Cambio Climático) was published in Mexico's Official Gazette of the Federation. This law will enter into force on August 4, 2012.

The CCL is based on the premise that Mexico intends to (i) adopt renewable energy resources, (ii) become more sustainable, and (iii) control its carbon emissions footprint without halting the country's economic development. These measures will permit Mexico to take its place among environmental world leaders such as the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Despite Mexico's efforts, it is still a significant emitter of greenhouse gases. Mexico's economic growth is expected to be sustained, which causes concern among the public and private sectors as well as among environmental activists and NGOs because this sustained growth, coupled with the increasing demands of a growing national and global population, may require investments that are not only efficient but also environmentally sustainable.

Purpose of the CCL

The CCL purports to guarantee the right of access to a healthy environment by regulating the emissions of greenhouse gases and greenhouse compounds, as well as regulating the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, in order to reduce the vulnerability of people and ecosystems in the country against the effects of climate change.

The new legislation seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent in 2020 and by 50 percent in 2050. It also sets a goal of at least 35 percent of Mexico's electricity coming from clean sources by 2024 and reducing dirty carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020. In addition, the CCL establishes incentives developed by the Ministries of Energy and Finances that will help to promote alternative energy sources, and it provides for the creation of the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (the "NIECC") (Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático) to assist the current and future administrations in the determination of environmental public policies related to climate change and sustainable energy sources.

National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change

The CCL creates the NIECC as a public decentralized federal agency and a subdivision of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (the "Ministry"). The NIECC will substitute the National Institute of Ecology (Instituto Nacional de Ecología) (the "NIE"), and will be in charge of carrying out the functions of the NIE in addition to providing research, technical, and scientific support related to climate change. The NIECC will also have the duty to incorporate the National Registry of Emissions.

National Climate Change Policy

The CCL provides a National Climate Change Policy that will be governed by the principles of sustainability in the exploitation or use of ecosystems, responsibility of the state and society in general, caution when there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, citizen participation, environmental responsibility, and use of economic instruments for mitigation and adaptation, among others.

This policy should establish economic, political, and regulatory instruments, plans, programs, and actions, for the gradual reduction of specific emissions per sectors and activities. It should take into consideration the Mexican government's commitments to reduce emissions under international treaties regarding climate change.

The National Climate Change Policy has the following planning instruments: (i) the National Strategy and (ii) National and Federal Entities Programs.

The National Strategy. The Ministry is required to prepare the National Strategy for Climate Change with the participation of NIECC, incorporating the opinion of the Council on Climate Change ("Council"), and to obtain approval from the Inter-Ministry Commission for Climate Change (the "Commission"). Thereafter, the National Strategy will be published in the Official Gazette of the Federation. The social and private sectors should be consulted in the development of the National Strategy, which will be reviewed at least every 10 years with respect to mitigation and every six years with respect to adaptation.

Federal Entities Programs. Programs will be prepared by the Ministry with the participation and approval of the Commission. This program will establish the objectives, strategies, actions, and goals to address climate change by identifying priorities for adaptation and mitigation, as well as allocation of responsibilities, execution times, actions coordination, and cost estimates, according to the National Development Plan and National Strategy.

National Climate Change System. The federal, state, and local governments, and their agencies and entities, will establish the basis for coordinating the integration and operation of the National Climate Change System, which will aim to serve as a permanent mechanism for concurrency, communication, collaboration, coordination, promotion, and consultation on National Climate Change Policy. This system will consist of the Commission, Council, the NIECC, and a representative from each of the national associations, local authorities, and representatives of Congress.

National Registry of Emissions. The Ministry will put together a National Registry of Emissions for stationary and mobile sources of emissions subject to reporting based on the items listed in Article 87 of the Law. In this sense, the individuals and companies responsible for the sources subject to reporting are required to provide information, data, and all the necessary documents evidencing their direct and indirect emissions for integration into the registry.

In addition, individuals or companies that carry out projects or activities that result in mitigation or reduction of emissions may enter that information in the National Registry of Emissions, according to the regulations to be issued for that purpose.

Climate Change Fund and Economic Instruments. The CCL creates the Climate Change Fund (Fondo para el Cambio Climático) (the "CCF"), substituting for the current Mexican Carbon Fund (Fondo Mexicano de Carbono), in order to capture attention and raise public, private, national, and international funds to support the implementation of actions to address climate change through a public trust created by the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (Secretaria de Hacienda y Crédito Público). Some of the purposes of the Fund for Climate Change are:

  • Projects related to energy efficiency, development of renewable energies, and second-generation biofuels;
  • Elimination and use of fugitive emissions of methane and gas associated with the exploitation of carbon mineral deposits;
  • The development of sustainable transportation systems; and,
  • The purchase of certified emission reduction bonds issued in connection with projects registered at the National Registry of Emissions or any other project approved by international agreements ratified by the Mexican government.

In order to reach the emission reduction target, the CCL mandates that the federal and local governments of Mexico and the Federal District implement financial, tax, and market instruments to provide incentives for private entities and individuals.

With regard to tax instruments, the CCL considers the granting of incentives for the research and implementation of:

  • Mechanisms, equipment, and technology to avoid, control, or reduce emissions;
  • Energy-efficiency systems, development of renewable energies, and low-carbon emissions technologies; and,
  • Activities regarding adaptation to climate change and mitigation of emissions.

Regarding market instruments, the Commission has powers to enact a voluntary "emissions trading" system where "carbon bonds" and other financial instruments may be traded in Mexico and internationally.

Surveillance and Compliance

In the event that the individuals or companies responsible for the emission sources subject to reporting fail to provide the information, data, or documents required by the Ministry in the specified period, the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (Procuraduría Federal de Protección al Ambiente) (the "PROFEPA") may impose a fine of 500 to 3,000 days of general minimum wage in Mexico City, 1 (approximately US$2,227 to US$13,356)2without prejudice of the need for immediate compliance with this obligation.

In the event that parties give false or inaccurate information or fail to meet deadlines and terms for its delivery, the PROFEPA will apply a fine of between 3,000 to 10,000 days of general minimum wage in Mexico City (approximately US$13,356 to US$44,521).3 The fine shall be without prejudice of any further civil or criminal liabilities that may arise therefrom.

The PROFEPA is obliged to make the acts described above known to the competent authorities. In the event of recidivism, the amount of the fine may be up to three times the original amount.


With the CCL, Mexico's renewable energy future is closer at hand than ever before. As the CCL enters in force, the Mexican government will have additional authority to create incentives for future investment in the country's renewable energy sector that will push Mexico toward a "green" future, in both economic and environmental terms.

From the energy industry's perspective, this is translated into, on the one hand, a more diversified investment portfolio in which "green" companies or low-emission businesses are presented as an investment alternative vis-á-vis the traditional investments in the extractive industry (where permissible in Mexico). On the other hand, this may result in obligations concerning the registration of current emissions that may prove cumbersome.


1. The current minimum wage of Mexico City is 62.33 pesos.

2. Taking into consideration a 14.00 pesos per U.S. dollar exchange rate.

3. Taking into consideration a 14.00 pesos per U.S. dollar exchange rate.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
Similar Articles
Relevancy Powered by MondaqAI
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of

To Use you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions