Mexico’s Mid-Century Strategy: Lessons in Planning for the Paris Agreement

Case Summary: 

Mexico’s Mid-Century Strategy (MCS), presented at 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Marrakech, is one of the first long-term strategy documents published after the adoption of the Paris Agreement. It’s Mexico’s response to Article 4, paragraph 19, of the Paris Agreement, which calls for all Parties to “formulate and communicate long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies, mindful of objectives set in its Article 2 of the Agreement.” This case study describes how the MCS gained a solid foundation by being developed within relevant legal and institutional frameworks. It also discusses important features of the MCS, including institutional arrangements, sectoral scope, gases covered, analytical techniques, and stakeholder engagement processes. Finally, the study reflects on impacts delivered and lessons learned from the preparation of Mexico’s MCS.

The planning of long-term and ambitious climate action that brings together mitigation and adaptation is a complex task, different from other development planning processes. But the process Mexico used to prepare the MCS is a good practice because Mexico’s long track record in the area of the formulation of long-term strategies offers many concrete examples and should allow other countries to learn from its experience.

Key findings from the case study include:

  • Basing the formulation of any long-term strategy on a solid legal mandate helps explain how Mexico was able to submit an LTS less than a year after COP21.
  • The MCS is an evolution or even as a confirmation of Mexico’s ongoing climate change strategic planning, rather than as a dramatic departure from it.
  • The convergence of different ministries in planning together under a unified agenda helps different parties to learn about climate change and its potential implications for their sector. Mexico’s planning law defines the need for an interministerial body whenever a topic requires the participation of two or more federal ministries.
  • Political leadership from the highest levels is instrumental and can play as an anchor for the national policy setting process and as a reference for subnational jurisdictions.
  • The graphic representation of the potential trajectories to be followed allows for better communication and improves narrative on the importance of acting.
Latin America and Caribbean
Action Area 
Planning and Implementation Activity 
Developing Strategies and Plans, Developing and Implementing Policies and Measures, Governance and Stakeholder Engagement, Long-Term Strategies
Barriers overcome 
Institutional, Political
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Resources Institute (WRI)
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