As part of its proposal, the country promised that its emissions of greenhouse gases will peak by 2026 and then begin to decline. The government has said the plan would mean that, by 2030, emissions will be 22% lower than business-as-usual projections.
Mexico’s pledges is a major milestone on the road to Paris, where governments are expected to meet at the end of the year to agree a new comprehensive deal on tackling the climate crisis.
In Lima last December, countries agreed that those ready to do so should declare their national contributions to this pact – known as their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by 31 March.
Hitting the target will mean sharply raising fuel efficiency, and Mexico has also set goals for increasing the share of renewable and nuclear energy in its power sector.
The targets are unconditional, which means the country will not required financial support from developed countries to meet its goals.
The government has said it could still raise its 2030 greenhouse gas reduction target to 36% if it gained access to climate funds and technology or if a global carbon price was put in place.
The pledge has been welcomed both inside the country and globally.
President Felipe Calderon, Chair of the Global Commission on the Economy and the Climate and former President of Mexico on the Mexican commitment said:
¨We welcome this announcement and the fact that Mexico is the first major emerging economy to declare its commitment to a low-carbon future. This is an example for other countries, including developed countries, to follow.¨
After the targets were unveiled, President Enrique Pena Nieto announced a new joint climate policy task force with US President, Barack Obama, aimed at further deepening “policy and regulatory coordination” in areas such as vehicle fuel efficiency, appliance standards and electricity grid modernisation.
The White House praised Mexico for being the first major emerging economy to submit its national plan.
The move has also been welcomed by US green groups.
“While the devil is in the details, Mexico’s plan to peak its emissions by 2026 is particularly encouraging and should inspire others to follow a similar course,” said Jennifer Morgan, global director of the World Resources Institute’s climate program.