Mexico’s Pathway to a Green Economy

Mexico’s National Development Plan 2007-2012 seeks to achieve economic growth, generate more and better jobs and reach sustainable human development. Environment sustainability is a key concept of Sustainable Human Development.

See Mexico's Country Study Summary










Mexico’s National Development Plan 2007 – 2012 includes a focal point on environmental sustainability, in the following areas:

Climate Change - Mexico is one of the first developing countries to make the unilateral commitment to voluntarily diminish its carbon emissions 51 million tonnes of CO2 by 2012, through its Special Climate Change Programme (PRCC)

The Human Rights Program of the Environmental Sector - The aim of this programme is to improve and to promote the rights of individuals on the environment.

The Youth Programme to Environmental Sustainability - The Mexican government is working closely with the Mexican youth to promote and increase awareness about the concept of sustainable development and the harmful consequences of climate change.

Indigenous Peoples Programme and the Environment - This programme focuses on the issue of equal access to natural resources and fair distribution of national resources, with respect to traditional and cultural heritage.

Gender Equality and Environmental Sustainability - The Mexican government aims at integrating and promoting more gender equality, and increasing the participation of women, in decision-making processes within public sectors and government bodies related to sustainable use of natural resources.

Prevention and Management of Waste - Mexico is working on environmental waste reduction to achieve better management of waste through an environmental policy.

To view all programs, please click here

Green Economy Success Story: Wind Energy in Mexico

Since 2005, Mexico has exponentially increased its wind power production, from a low production capacity of 2 MW to 514 MW in 2010, thus ranking as the second wind power producer in Latin America after Brazil 

In the southern state of Oaxaca, in a region called Isthmus of Tehuantepec, one of the best in Latin America for wind power generation, we find the majority of wind farms and important projects under development. Point to be noted that the largest wind farm in Latin America is located in that state and is named the Eurus plant, owned by the company Acciona. Mexico is expecting to continue developing wind farms that will generate almost 3,800 MW in the near future (2014) 

The wind sector has tremendously changed the way Mexicans perceive renewable energy. Indeed, many people have been able to find new jobs in this new industry and this has benefited mostly the local population. See the video 

For example, the Eurus wind farm which is a joint venture between Acciona and the Mexican cement producer Cemex, can supply energy to almost half a million people. In addition, Acciona has been able to offer jobs to almost 850 persons during the project construction. It is currently employing 400 people on the wind farm.

Partnership with UNEP on Green Economy

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT) and UNEP signed a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate Mexico's transition towards a green economy and low carbon development.

On January 2012, the Director of UNEP´s Division of Technology, Industry and Economics, Sylvie Lemmet, the Head of UNEP´s Green Economy Initiative, Steven Stone, the President of the National Institute of Ecology, Francisco Barnes, the Coordinator of International Affairs of the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Enrique Lendo, and UNEP’s representative for Mexico, Dolores Barrientos, launched a scoping study that will assist Mexico in its transition to a green economy. Objectives include the achievement of greener jobs creation, improvement of environmental sustainability and economic competitiveness, and stimulating inclusive growth. Furthermore, the scoping study will support a national dialogue between the different stakeholders, such as government officials and policy-makers, civil society and the private sector. Finally, this study will serve as an analysis for developing policy drivers that will steer financial investments towards a green economy.

Mexico inaugurated a Centre for Research on Sustainable Development and Climate Change on March 23rd, 2012. An initiative announced by President Felipe Calderón two years ago, the Centre is a public-private non-profit organization that will develop policies and promote actively the concept of a green economy. The Centre aims to be an independent, transparent and a global model for others. It also intends to become a hub for South-South cooperation. Mr Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary and Executive Director of UNEP, is one of national and international members of the Board of Directors, along with Dr Mario Molina, Dr Rajendra Pachauri, the Heads of the Ministries of Finance and Public Credit, Energy and Environment and Natural Resources of the Federal Government of Mexico, among others. Mexico will be the host for the next G20 meeting in June 2012, and the Centre will provide assistance in the preparation for negotiations in the area of green economy.

Other UNEP related initiatives

The UN system in Mexico has developed an action programme known as the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for the period 2008 to 2012. The Framework is designed to work in alignment to the national development priorities of Mexico. UNDAF outcomes include support for integrating environment and employment issues into the macroeconomic development agenda; and capacity building in government via the integration of population and environmental issues in the development of future agriculture policies and biodiversity conservation programmes. See the Full Report.  

What Mexican Leaders have said about the Green Economy

President Felipe Calderón: “There are opportunities of commercial and industrial growth for developing countries from the new economy, which will be a green economy….Climate change, is the greatest global threat for modern civilization. We, the developing countries, are the most vulnerable to this phenomenon. For that reason, it is essential that we change our model of development to one which would be based on clean energy and count on the collaboration of developed countries, which are the ones which have the financial and economic capacity to make that new model happen.” President Felipe Calderón statement at the Sixteenth U Thant Distinguished Lecture Series, United Nations University, 2 February 2010, Tokyo, Japan. 

President Felipe Calderon:” If we can find a formula that allows us to simultaneously fight climate change and poverty, we will have cleared the path to be followed by humankind”, said President Calderon at the Champions of the Earth ceremony in New York. “That route exists and we must explore it together."

President Felipe Calderón statement at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2010, Cancun, Mexico

For the full statement, please click here

President Felipe Calderón: “Green economy implies to start a massive change in the world. We used to say that either we protect environment or we promote growth development. There is a false dilemma when we say either we combat climate change or we combat poverty. There is a solution. There is a clear action in which we can promote economic growth and at the same time protect nature. There is a clear way in which we can fight climate change and at the same time fight extreme poverty in our countries. And the answer to that is the green economy.”[1]

President Felipe Calderón statement at the UN Climate Change Conference in 2010, Cancun, Mexico

For the full statement, please click here.