Legislation by national governments to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is essential to achieving a low-carbon economy and improved public health worldwide.

In 2012, Mexico took the historic step of enacting a comprehensive climate change law. The groundbreaking legislation commits Mexico to cut its GHG emissions by half by 2050 and prominently features sustainable transport initiatives.

EMBARQ Mexico played a major role in shaping the law, proposing measures for mass transit, fuel efficiency, pedestrian and cycling infrastructure, and restrictions on high-polluting vehicles—all of which the government included.

Setting a Precedent for Global Climate Action

When a government signals its seriousness about combating climate change by passing legislation, it promotes the country’s transition towards a competitive, sustainable, and low-carbon economy. It provides a precedent for other countries to follow suit, and gives a boost to the U.N. international climate negotiations.

Mexico’s groundbreaking law makes it one of the first countries to adopt ambitious and comprehensive legislation on climate change. Enacted by President Felipe Calderón, the General Law of Climate Change seeks to guarantee citizens’ right to a healthy environment. The law will unlock substantial federal funds for low-carbon development and will prompt new regulations to mitigate GHG emissions.

In a major departure from the international climate negotiations, the bill’s measures for reaching the 2050 emissions goal include transforming transportation systems and infrastructure. Mexico’s president worked across party lines at the federal, state, and city levels to win agreement on the policies needed to meet the bill’s ambitious targets.

Making Change Happen: WRI’s Role

EMBARQ Mexico was designated as the transport expert to review the draft bill when it went before Mexico’s Senate and make specific policy recommendations.

We proposed key sustainable transport measures that were included in the final law, including the development of sustainable mass transport systems and improved infrastructure for pedestrians and bicyclists. The bill also includes our recommendations to develop new fuel-efficiency standards for light and heavy-duty vehicles, as well as regulations restricting imports of high-polluting vehicles.

EMBARQ’s prominent role in the legislation stemmed from our work in helping Mexican cities to introduce sustainable transport systems, as well as our national policy research demonstrating the importance of sustainable transport as a climate-mitigation strategy.