WRI convened government, business associations, and civil society organizations in Mexico to develop a model energy conservation code for buildings, endorsed by the government, which cities nationwide can adapt and adopt. WRI and partners also worked with Mexico City to elevate efficiency in construction regulations. Both changes will help save energy and money and improve health.

The Challenge

Mexico is experiencing a boom in residential and commercial construction. Nonetheless, the country set a target to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 22 percent below business as usual in 2030, while Mexico City aims for an even steeper cut of 30 percent below the 2000 level by 2020. Buildings account for nearly one-fifth of the nation’s energy consumption, so improving energy efficiency in buildings is central to achieving Mexico’s climate goals.

WRI’s Role

WRI helped launch and coordinates the Building Efficiency Accelerator (BEA), a global network of businesses, governments, and NGOs focused on rapidly increasing energy efficiency in buildings as part of the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All initiative. WRI convenes the Mexico City BEA, which identified the need for a national model code for building efficiency. WRI secured funding for the work and selected CASEDI – a professional association promoting green buildings – to adapt the International Energy Conservation Code, in partnership with the Ministry of Energy, the National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy (CONUEE), ALENER (an industry association promoting energy efficiency), the British Embassy, the Danish Energy Agency, and WRI. Through the BEA, WRI also facilitated dialogue with Mexico City’s Secretary for the Environment and mayor to advance the publication of construction regulations on energy efficiency.

The Outcome

In 2016, the Ministry of Energy endorsed the new Energy Conservation Code for Buildings in Mexico and issued a guidance document on how cities can adapt and adopt the model code into local regulations for new commercial and residential buildings. These comprehensive standards include guidance on energy efficiency in building materials and equipment and building elements such as windows, insulation, ventilation, and lighting.

Mexico City announced updated construction regulations with enhanced provisions for efficient lighting and water heating. In line with the new Energy Conservation Code, WRI and the BEA have helped to develop broader energy efficiency provisions for the city’s construction regulations. Once published, these will position Mexico City as a model in adapting and adopting the Code and contribute to the city’s climate goals, air quality, and economic competitiveness. WRI and the BEA are now also helping Guadalajara and Mérida to adapt and adopt the Code.