On 10 October 2012, the Climate Change General Law entered into effect, which broadly rules the mitigation and adaptation measures for climate change, creates the National Emission Registry, and promotes the transition towards a competitive, sustainable and low-emission economy.
Most of the provisions set forth by the law do not foresee obligations to be observed by private parties but rather goals to be achieved by the governmental agencies.
The only obligation that private parties must comply with is related to providing information to the National Emission Registry (RENE), in which the greenhouse gas emissions produced by certain fixed sources must be recorded when they are equivalent to 25,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year. The list of fixed sources of pollution that falls into the scope of the Climate Change General Law (LGCC) is contemplated by its regulations and they belong to the energy, industrial, transportation, agriculture, waste, trade and services sectors. The greenhouse gas emissions that must be recorded are, among others, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, black carbon, fluorinated gases, sulphur hexafluoride, nitrogen trifluoride, halogen ethers, halocarbons, any mix of the before mentioned gases as well as other gases identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. This report must be filed through the federal annual operation report.
Since 2015, all fixed sources generating 25,000 tons or a higher amount of carbon dioxide per year are obliged to submit an emission report through the COA annually; in addition, every three years they are obliged to submit an expert opinion prepared by a verification unit authorised by SEMARNAT, and law enforcement has been incremental. Until now, industries subject to registration needed only to self-determine their greenhouse gases and compounds emissions and report them to the RENE. However, for 2018 and 2019, most establishments subject to reporting will be required, additionally, to have a verification report issued by a verification agency approved by PROFEPA. The LGCC contemplates economic sanctions of up to US$15,402 for all establishments that do not present said report to the RENE, and a fine of up to US$51,340 for the establishments that report wrongful information.
On 13 July 2018, certain reforms and additions to various dispositions of the General Law on Climate Change were published and, on 14 July 2018, entered into force. The objectives of this reform were to:
- establish an emissions commerce system to be implemented progressively and gradually, to promote the reduction of the emissions generated by Mexico with the least possible costs while in a measurable, reportable and verifiable manner;
- carry out the adjustments or modifications to the sceneries, trajectories, actions or goals committed to in the National Strategy on Climate Change;
- set forth the reduction goals assumed as national determined contributions (NDCs) committed by Mexico during the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties on its 21st session. As per the committed NDCs, Mexico shall reduce, for 2030 and in a non-conditional way, its greenhouse gas emissions in a 22 per cent and its black carbon emissions in a 51 per cent with regard to the baseline. This commitment will imply a 40 per cent reduction in the intensity of emissions per GDP unit between 2013 and 2030. The 22 per cent reduction on greenhouse gas emissions translates itself in a reduction, per participating sector, of 18 per cent for transport, 31 per cent for electric generation, 18 per cent for residential and commercial, 14 per cent for petroleum and gas, 5 per cent for industry, 8 per cent for agriculture and farming, and 28 per cent for waste; and
- set the basis for the elaboration of the National Adaption Policy within the frame of the National System for Climate Change and an Early Warning System.
Further, on 6 November 2018, ASEA published in the Federal Official Gazette general administrative dispositions establishing the Guidelines for the Prevention and Comprehensive Management of Methane Emissions in the Hydrocarbon Sector, which entered into force on 7 November 2018. The Guideline's purpose is to set forth the actions and mechanisms that the parties executing activities of the hydrocarbon sector shall adopt to prevent and control the methane emissions generated in their facilities. The obligations for these parties, among others, are to identify the sources and potential sources of methane emissions within their facilities and prepare a methane diagnosis for report and prepare a Programme for the Prevention and Comprehensive Management of Methane Emissions within the Hydrocarbon Sector.