- Mexico’s Supreme Court ruled against an injunction that was filed to revive the country’s Climate Change Fund, which was designed to channel public and private funding into actions to fight climate change.
- The fund helped support local and national projects for reducing deforestation rates, restoring degraded landscapes, developing sustainable agricultural practices and investing in renewable energy, among other things.
- Without the fund, it’s unclear how much of Mexico’s national budget will be allocated to climate-related issues, since spending is discretionary.
MEXICO CITY — A court in Mexico has eliminated a major financial resource for fighting climate change, raising doubts about how willing the country will be to invest in future environmental initiatives.
The Supreme Court ruled against an injunction that was filed to revive the country’s Climate Change Fund, which was designed to channel public and private funding into projects that fight climate change.
“This decision further distances Mexico from fulfilling its national and international commitments to combatting the climate crisis and constitutes a step backwards in terms of the state’s obligation to guarantee our human right to a healthy environment,” the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA), which filed the injunction last year, said in a statement.
The Climate Change Fund was created in 2012 to support local and national conservation efforts that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions pushing global temperatures beyond 1.5° Celsius (2.7° Fahrenheit). That included reducing deforestation rates, restoring degraded landscapes, developing sustainable agricultural practices and investing in renewable energy, among other things.
The fund was abolished in November 2020 despite pushback from environmental organizations like the Group for Climate Finance in Latin America and the Caribbean, Fridays For Future Mexico, Our Right to the Future, the Northwest Environmental Defense and the Defense of the Environment.
What set the fund apart from other parts of the budget, they said, was that it was specifically reserved for fighting climate change and couldn’t be influenced by politics and day-to-day government crises. That made it a key tool for upholding international commitments, such as those listed in the Paris Agreement.
Without the fund, it’s unclear how much of Mexico’s national budget will be allocated to climate-related issues, since spending will be discretionary. CEMDA pointed out that the country’s electricity commission — which involves natural gas extraction — started receiving funding from a climate change mitigation budget in 2020, suggesting that the funds were directly supporting fossil fuels.
“By making the allocation of resources depend on [the national budget], without having clear rules for their application, the legal guarantee that these resources are used for specific purposes of climate change adaptation and mitigation is diluted,” CEMDA’s statement said.
Banner image: Irrigated fields in Sonora, Mexico. Photo courtesy of International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center/Flickr.
See related: Information gleaned from the GEDI mission has been crucial for scientists to understand how deforestation contributes to worsening climate change:
Return of the GEDI: Space-based, forest carbon-mapping laser array saved
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