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Mexico Current situation

What is Mexicoʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Emissions profile

In 2017, Mexico’s national emissions excluding LULUCF were over 730 MtCO₂e, of which the energy sector was responsible for over 70%.6 The second biggest emitter was agriculture at about 14%, with industry and waste contributing roughly equally to the remaining 14% of the country’s total emissions. Within the energy sector, transport and power generation were the main emitters in 2017, although transport has become the highest emitting sector in recent years.7

Current policy projections indicate that Mexico’s total emissions in 2030 emissions would be between 807–831 MtCO₂e/yr excluding LULUCF.8 This range is far outside of a 1.5°C compatible emissions range. While the transport sector is the greatest contributor to overall emissions, the power sector offers the greatest opportunities for rapid decarbonisation. Through electrification, a decarbonised power sector will steer emissions reductions in end-use sectors such as transport.

1 Gobierno de México. Contribución Determinada a nivel Nacional. Actualización 2022. 1–45 Preprint at (2022).

2 Climate Action Tracker. Mexico. CAT September 2020 Update (2020).

3 SENER. Prospectiva del Sector Eléctrico 2017-2031. (2017).

4 Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (SEMARNAT) & Gobierno de México. Estrategia Nacional de Cambio Climático. Informe CICC (2013).

5 Government of Mexico. Mexico’s Climate Change Mid-Century Strategy. (2016).

6 Gütschow, J., Günther, A. & Pflüger, M. The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series v2.3 (1750-2019). Preprint at (2021).

7 Climate Transparency. Mexico Country Profile. (2020).

8 Climate Action Tracker. Mexico: Climate Action Tracker (Sep 2020 Update). (2020).

9 US EIA. Mexico.(2020).

10 Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos. Diario Oficial de la Federación. Ley de la industria eléctrica. (2014).

11 Cámara de Diputados del H. Congreso de la Unión. Diario Oficial de la Federación. Ley de Transición Energética. Diario Oficial de la Federacion 1–31 (2015).

12 Ember. Yearly electricity data. (2022).

13 Climate Analytics & New Climate Institute. Mexico Climate Action Tracker 2022 update. (2022).

14 Congreso General de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos. Ley General de Cambio Climatico. Diario Oficial de la Federacion Mexicana (2012). doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67666-1_8.

15 Government of Mexico. Compromisos de Mitigación y Adaptación Ante el Cambio Climático para el Periodo 2020-2030. (2015).

16 Gobierno de Mexico. Contribución Determinada a Nivel Nacional de México: Actualización 2020. (2020).

17 CONAFOR. Estrategia Nacional para REDD+ 2017-2030 (ENAREDD+). 6 (2017).

18 Greenpeace Mexico. NDC DE MÉXICO DEBEN SER MÁS AMBICIOSOS Y PROGRESIVOS. Greenpeace Mexico. (2021).

19 Climate Analytics & New Climate Institute. Mexico Climate Action Tracker 2022 update. (2022).

20 Tornel, C. Petro-populism and infrastructural energy landscapes: The case of Mexico’s Dos Bocas Refinery. Nordia Geographical Publications 49, 6–31 (2021).

21 World Resource Institute. Mexico: Policymaking to Ensure Energy Justice in Renewables Development. (2021).

22 IEA. Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Energy 2021 Edition. (2021).

23 Mexico Government & Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales. Mexico: Third Biennial Update Report (BUR) to the UNFCCC. (2022).

24 Mackres, E. & Loutfi, F. El potencial de Mexico para liderar en edificaciones cero carbono. WRI Mexico. (2020).

25 Chavez, I. Edificios con eficiencia energética, diminuyen hasta 25% de consumo energético. Factor Energetico. (2022).

26 Mexico Government, Secretaria de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales & Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático. Mexico. National Inventory Report (NIR) 1990-2019. (2022).

27 Guerra, E. & Guillén, J. Leyes de Eficiencia Energética en Latinoamérica y el Caribe. (2021).

28 Climate Analytics & NewClimate Institute. Mexico Climate Action Tracker. (2022).

29 Statista. Electric Vehicles- Mexico. Statista. (2022).

30 Climate Transparency. Mexico Country Profile. (2020).

31 Reporte Indigo. (2022, September 15). Infraestructura en electromovilidad en México, escasa y lenta – Reporte Indigo.

32 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for developed countries, they underestimate the feasible space for such countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available; thus, we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches.

Mexicoʼs current GHG emissions


Displayed values

By sector

  • Power
  • Transport
  • Industry (energy use)
  • Other
  • Buildings
  • Fugitive emissions
  • Agriculture
  • Industry (processes)
  • Waste
Energy (71%)⟵ LULUCF negative emissions

By gas

  • CO₂
  • CH₄
  • N₂O
  • Other

Sectors by gas

Industry (processes)

Energy system

Fossil fuels currently account for 85% of Mexico’s total energy supply. Oil is the largest source of primary energy at almost 50%, largely because of the high oil consumption in the transport sector.7 The role of oil in the power sector, however, has decreased over the past two decades due to a major shift to fossil gas.9

In 2015, Mexico passed the Energy Transition Law which set targets to achieve 25% “clean” power generation by 2018, 30% by 2021, and 35% by 2024. Additional targets were set under the National Climate Change Strategy: 40% clean power by 2034 and 50% by 2050.4 However, Mexico’s definition of “clean energy” includes nuclear, CCS, and efficient co-generation.10,11 Mexico did not meet its 2018, or 2021 clean energy targets and is not on track to meet its 2024 target either.12

In 2020 the government rolled back new renewable energy projects, citing energy security concerns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.2 The government has also prioritised the modernisation of existing fossil fuel plants and refineries, while recently cancelling the fourth clean energy auction.

Targets and commitments

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Baseline scenario target

NDC target

Conditional target:

  • 40% below BAU by 2030 incl. LULUCF.
    6% below 2015 by 2030 excl. LULUCF (689 MtCO₂e/yr).13
  • Black carbon reduced by 70% below BAU by 2030 incl. LULUCF.

Unconditional target:

  • 35% below BAU by 2030 incl. LULUCF, whereby 30% to be achieved with the country’s own resources and additional 5% with already agreed international cooperation on “clean energy sources/projects”.1
  • 7% above 2015 levels by 2030 excl. LULUCF (786 MtCO2/yr).1
  • Black carbon reduced by 51% below BAU by 2030.1

Market mechanism

  • Current NDC does not indicate the use of market mechanisms in its implementation.

Long-term target

Mexico has submitted a long-term strategy in 2016 to the UNFCCC.14

Sector coverage


Greenhouse gas coverage


Sectoral targets


  • Reducing emissions from the oil and gas sectors by 14%.15,16
  • Mexico has set a target of 98% utilisation of methane gas for the oil sector as part of its commitment to reduce methane emissions and the Global methane commitment.


  • Promoting energy savings and energy efficiency regulations.
    *Reducing wood consumption in rural areas.


  • Improving the management of urban and industrial solid waste and wastewater.
  • Implementing the National Circular Economy Strategy.


  • Implementing the National strategy for reducing emissions from deforestation (ENAREDD+).15,16,17


  • Integrating clean energy into the electricity generation.
  • Building four new hydropower plants with a capacity of 284 MW.
  • Increasing the generation of photovoltaic, wind and geothermal power plants.


  • Consolidating the National electric mobility strategy.15,16
  • Expanding the rail network.
  • Promoting the transition to more efficient vehicles and clean transport.


  • Promoting agroecological practices and conservation agriculture.
  • Decreasing the use of fertilisers.
  • Promoting agro-forestry and pastoral systems.