Human activities that impact the Earth’s climate are driven, in large part, by energy consumption. Advancements in technology, infrastructure, and industry have been made possible by the use of fossil fuels. In recent decades, recognition of climate change and its causes has increased, coinciding with other, sector-wide transitions in energy generation and use. The interconnected nature of climate and energy issues calls for legal and regulatory frameworks that are better able to integrate these two concerns—effective broad-scale policy on climate must engage with the complex system for regulating energy, and forward-thinking changes in energy policy must address climate externalities on present and future generations. This article examines Mexico’s experience in its efforts to bridge these two policy areas. Since 2012, Mexico has pursued two parallel tracks in policy developments: the enactment of comprehensive legislation on climate change, and constitutional changes related to energy—specifically, the generation of electricity. In 2013, Mexico amended its Constitution to allow for competition in electricity generation, and legislation enacted in 2014 and 2015 have called for rapid restructuring of the country’s electricity sector and the creation of a new wholesale energy market. At the same time, Mexico’s General Climate Change Act of 2012 establishes ambitious goals for greenhouse gas reduction, including a transition to greater use of “clean energy.” The constitutional reform provides a significant opportunity—if appropriately leveraged—for Mexico to make policy changes that will enable the country to play a leadership role in integrating climate mitigation and energy regulation.
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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Nicholas S. Bryner,
People of the Sun: Leveraging Electricity Reform to Promote Renewable Energy and Climate Change Mitigation in Mexico,
Nat. Resources J.
Available at: http://digitalrepository.unm.edu/nrj/vol56/iss2/7