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Research Report

Legal and institutional frameworks at national and subnational levels for biofuel promotion in Mexico

Omar Romero-Hernández
Omar Masera
Sergio Romero
Miriam Grunstein
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2011
Pages: 42
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. 1-1)

    Biofuels are considered an important alternative to fossil fuels in meeting the growing global demand for energy sources. Factors driving the expansion of biofuels include higher oil prices, the need for cost-effective and environment-friendly energy alternatives so as to create competitive economic conditions for local industry in many countries and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Segura 2008).

    In this context, there is a pressing need to reinforce biofuel initiatives. Strong legal and institutional frameworks are required, in the fields of both energy and environment, to effectively foster the sustainable use of biofuels as an integral element of the...

  2. (pp. 2-10)

    Mexico’s bioenergy legislation is new and has evolved in the complex context of the country’s agricultural, environmental and energy policy. When the first pieces of legislation were crafted, in 2007, they mostly targeted the agricultural aspects of bioenergy. However, allegedly because agricultural organisations lobbied Congress, in particular the PRI (Institutional Revolution Party), the bill favoured mere agricultural production and disregarded conditions that would enable agriculture to become environmentally sustainable. Furthermore, the bill ignored issues related to consumption, regulating energy consumption only superficially.

    That first bill to promote biofuels in Mexico came as a move to capitalise on the growing biofuels...

  3. (pp. 11-17)

    The policy framework for biofuel promotion and development in Mexico is minimal and largely inchoate . An (unofficial) top-down representation of the Mexican policy framework related to bioenergy is depicted in Figure 2.

    All policy instruments in Mexico should be aligned with the National Development Plan 2007–2012, which is the master document for all policies undertaken by the federal government in that period. The term of office for president in Mexico is 6 years; as such, incoming presidents design and publish their development plan at the beginning of their term. This system has serious implications for policy design and...

  4. (pp. 18-20)

    This section presents a brief comparative analysis of the Mexican regulatory and policy framework in the context of the biofuel laws and regulations that have been approved and are being implemented in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Honduras, Paraguay and Peru. For a more complete discussion on this topic, see Masera et al. (2011).

    The comparative analysis considers the following elements of the relevant laws:

    purpose and objectives;

    implementing agencies;

    policy framework for promotion and development, and market promotion;

    mandatory fuel requirements (blends and biofuel use); and

    elaboration and enforcement of additional rules or standards to complement the regulation.


  5. (pp. 21-23)

    In recent years, Mexico has started to incorporate biofuels into both its legal framework and the national industrial sector, in order to achieve economic benefits and to create alternatives in a fossil-fuel energy-intensive economy. Mexico’s heavy dependence on oil and other fossil fuels has been a major barrier to past attempts to promote biofuels. Nevertheless, recent energy and environmental policies (focused on providing a more diversified and less-polluting energy mix) have led to the creation of regulations to promote the use of biofuels.

    Mexico has created laws, regulations and high-level programmes related to the promotion of bioenergy. However, the country...

  6. (pp. 24-24)

    Mexico is pursuing the production and consumption of bioenergy. The government has adopted an initial approach to devise the required policy instruments to foster the development of the bioenergy sector. As noted in this country report, Mexico is taking a top-down approach in its design of policy instruments, including coordination roles amongst state entities. These programmes include provisions and texts that appear also in the Interministerial Strategy for Bioenergy, which indicates a clear intention to articulate these provisions within a single interministerial framework. However, these programmes, such as they are, have not yet evolved beyond their place on a list...