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Mexican General Law of Climate Change

Author:Mr José Estandía and Manuel Echeverría
Profession:Jones Day

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...

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