Crunching Numbers: Quantifying the Sustainable Development Co-Benefits of Mexico's Climate Commitments

The government of Mexico has set a new tone in domestic political discussions by bringing forward an ambitious social and economic development agenda – putting development ambitions and people of all social and economic backgrounds in the centre of the debate. At the same time, Mexico’s government has reaffirmed its continuing international commitment to combat global warming with determined national climate action.

Indeed, the 2015 Paris Agreement marked a milestone in the international response to combat climate change and ensure worldwide adaptation to its effects. As part of the accord, all Parties are required to present Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) outlining their efforts to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with the objective to jointly limit the mean global temperature increase to 1.5 – 2°C relative to preindustrial levels. The NDCs include a wide range of necessary measures, from economy-wide to sector-specific targets and policies and are meant to be revised and strengthened in the years ahead. Signatories report regularly on their mitigation and adaptation efforts, a key obligation to provide greater transparency of national action and international progress (UNFCCC, 2018).

While Mexico’s efforts are imperative for the future of the earth, a stable climate is also a key enabler to the country’s development. The climate change scenarios described in Mexico’s NDC predict increases in the mean annual temperature by up to 2°C in northern Mexico and between 1°C and 1.5°C for the rest of the country in the near-term (2015- 2039) (Gobierno de la República de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, 2016). Such change will have far-reaching negative implications across ecosystems, society and the economy.

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