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Greenpeace v. Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático and Others

Jurisdiction: Eleventh Collegiate Court of the First Circuit in Administrative Matters


Principle law(s): General Law on Climate Change


Side A: Greenpeace (Ngo)


Side B: Instituto Nacional de Ecología y Cambio Climático and Others (Government)


Core objectives: Whether Mexico’s revised NDC violated human rights law for being regressive.


Summary
On March 9, 2021, Greenpeace filed an amparo, an emergency proceeding, against the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, the Inter-secretarial Commission on Climate Change, the Secretariat of Environment and Natural Resources, the Council of Climate Change, and the Mexican President, challenging Mexico’s revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC). The NGO argued that the NDC failed to respect the principle of non-regression in human rights law. In its original 2015 NDC, Mexico committed to a 22% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 as compared to 2000 levels. In the revised NDC presented in December 2020, Mexico raised the baseline against which the GHG emission reduction is measured. Greenpeace argued that the updated NDC would effectively cause the additional emission of 14 million tons of CO2e; (ii) eliminate the peak of GHG emissions stipulated for 2026; (iii) rule out the 50% reduction target for 2050, which would nullify the mitigation horizon in the medium and long term. Greenpeace asked the court to suspend the effects of the 2020 NDC. 

On July 14, 2021, the Judge ruled against Greenpeace. On July 30, 2021, Greenpeace appealed the decision. Neither the Court’s reasoning nor the plaintiff’s arguments are public yet. However, the court failed to notify the Eleventh Collegiate Court of the First Circuit in Administrative Matters, which was deciding the matter of the injunction to suspend the effects of the contested acts. 

On September 21, 2021, the Eleventh Collegiate Court of the First Circuit in Administrative Matters (not knowing of the previous decision) decided to suspend Mexico’s 2020 NDC. The court considered Mexico’s mitigation commitments to be regressive, in violation of the law. In its place, Mexico’s 2015 commitments on mitigation and adaptation for the 2020-2030 period apply. Since there is a pending appeal filed in July, which is contrary to the collegiate's decision, the injunction remains in effect until a superior court rules on the Judge's decision.

Case documents

Related laws and policies
  • MEX flag This law implements Mexico legislation
    General Law on Climate Change

    Passed in 2012 Legislative

    The approval of the GLCC gives certainty and continuity to climate policy in Mexico and sets the country on a path to a low carbon economy. It establishes the basis for the creation of institutions, legal frameworks and financing to move towards a low carbon economy. As a General Law, it specifie...

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from the Grantham Research Institute
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