In anticipation to the 16th Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, the Mexican Presidency anticipates to demonstrate the potential for innovative policies to address climate change. The Mexican Government has already presented an ambitious plan to mitigate carbon emissions (50 million tonnes by 2012); recent legislation suggests an adaptation framework.
Mexico is highly vulnerable to hurricanes and floods—both of which are expected to intensify under climate change scenarios, making adaptation to climate extremes a priority for the country. Further, economic analyses suggest that the costs of inaction will be very high—lowering economic output by an average of 6% annually over the next few years.
The Government has recently presented the General Law on Climate Change which aims to restructure the political system that deals with climate change in Mexico, suggesting the creation of a Commission on Climate Change to be accompanied by a Council on Climate Change. The former organisation will be an implementing agency while the latter will be a monitoring and evaluation institution. As such, their roles will be mutually enforcing.
Additionally, the recent legislation emphasises the importance of two key issues: the need for adaptation and financing.
On the adaptation front, the strategies emphasise the need for robust climate analysis that highlight the shocks on livelihoods as well as the need to protect the most vulnerable communities. To this end, the initial stages of the adaptation strategy will be technical, mapping out the main risks associated with climate change in Mexico, whereas the later stages will involve concrete strategies to target vulnerable populations through microinsurance and safety nets.
In regards to financing, the Mexican Government is very keen on advancing the dialogue during the COP process. The Green Fund is proposed as the main mechanism to channel and centralise financial resources to fund climate change policy as the Kyoto Protocol phases out. The Adaptation Fund is also a focal institution to finance large-scale projects to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change on vulnerable livelihoods. Important progress is expected on this respect.
The Mexican Presidency is very hopeful for important advancements during the 16th Conference of the Parties.