MEXICO CITY – Mexico has invested just 8 percent of the capital to mitigate climate change that the country committed to in the 2016 Paris Agreement, according to data from the official National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change (INECC).
According to the INECC, the capital required to implement mitigation and adaptation initiatives from 2014-2030 is $126 billion – nearly $8 billion per year – though only $10.15 billion has been invested so far.
In 2017, Mexico invested $2.4 billion, less than a third of what was required.
Sandra Guzman, head of the Climate Finance Group for Latin America and the Caribbean (GFCLAC), told EFE that if this trend continues, Mexico will suffer $143 billion in losses from 2018-2030.
These losses are linked to the effects of not protecting the country’s forests, of declining soil fertility and of not controlling the emissions of greenhouse gases.
According to the founder of the GFCLAC, an alliance of civil society organizations and academic institutions, “public funds must be redistributed and should not be halted because of bureaucratic or routine reasons.”
Guzman regretted that Mexico has not established a clear funding mechanism for climate mitigation initiatives, adding that the future administration of President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who will be sworn in on Dec. 1, has not shown signs of wanting to change the current situation.
She spoke of Lopez Obrador’s plan of building a new oil refinery, which would deepen the country’s dependence on fossil fuels.
Regarding the Green Climate Fund, she recalled that by 2020 it should receive some $100 billion in annual contributions from developed nations for climate mitigation initiatives in emerging countries.
However, “much of the money has been used in bilateral processes and currently only $10 billion has been received,” Guzman said.
This amount, according to Guzman, “has stagnated because of the withdrawal of the United States” from the Paris Agreement.
The director of the Finance Center at the World Resources Institute, Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, told EFE during a recent visit to Mexico that Lopez Obrador’s administration should conceive climate change mitigation as going hand in hand with measures to fight poverty and exclusion.
“The country must be led toward new technologies and a low-carbon economy, based on a social inclusion perspective,” Martinez-Diaz said.
According to Martinez-Diaz, the way to encourage the private sector to invest in green initiatives is to ensure profitability.
“To achieve this, carbon must be priced correctly, an emissions market must be put in place and a system of regulations must be set up that makes the country attractive” to investors, he said.