Mexico will launch its carbon offset market in 2017

Mexico will launch its carbon offset market in 2017 and will pursue a link to interconnected schemes in California, Quebec and Ontario, said Rodolfo Lacy, Mexico’s undersecretary for environmental policy and planning, according to Quebec’s environment minister.

Mexico introduced a $3.50/tonne carbon tax on fossil fuels in 2014, and will at some point allow emitters to buy and sell CERs from CO2-cutting projects within the country and surrender them for compliance in place of paying.

No further details were available but Lacy’s comments likely referred to linking the offset trading portion of Mexico’s climate programme with the three schemes to the north, which are themselves connected via the Western Climate Initiative (WCI).

Lacy in April told an emissions trading conference in LA that Mexico was mulling a direct link to the WCI, and the proposals for this appeared to suggest this would mainly involve exporting offsets.

Mexico’s tax and offset scheme forms part of its efforts to reduce GHG emissions by 30% below BAU levels by 2020, and halving 2000 levels by mid-century.

Those goals are enshrined in national law passed several years ago, which drew Mexico praise for becoming one of the first developing nations to adopt comprehensive climate change legislation.

Separately, in its INDC submitted to the UN earlier this year Mexico pledged to cut its emissions by at least 25% below BAU levels by 2030.

It also offered to deepen this goal to -40% provided a global climate agreement is reached that addresses various issues including an international carbon price, carbon border adjustments, technical cooperation, access to low-cost financial resources and technology transfer.

Separately, Quebec’s Premier announced at the Toronto summit that his province would join a subnational movement to cut GHG emissions by 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050. Quebec launched its carbon market in 2014, while Ontario – Canada’s most populous province – is currently designing its own scheme and will publish the details towards the end of the year.