News Article
April 1, 2015

New partnership targets energy consumption in buildings to reduce emissions in Mexico City

Towards greener buildings in Mexico City

Buildings are a significant contributor to Mexico City’s greenhouse gas emissions and the focus of a new partnership to improve energy efficiency and create a more sustainable, competitive city. Photo by Alejandro Mejia Greene/Flickr.

Rising demand for energy worldwide is making the need for affordable, sustainable energy sources increasingly urgent. According to the International Energy Agency, energy consumption in cities worldwide will grow 73 percent by 2030, causing a 76 percent increase in carbon dioxide emissions. Globally, buildings account for 40 percent of energy demand and contribute about one-third of total greenhouse gas emissions. In Mexico City, buildings represent more than 20 percent of emissions.

To address the critical role of buildings in reducing citywide emissions, EMBARQ Mexico and the World Resources Institute (WRI)—along with Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All), La Alianza por la Eficiencia Energética (ALENER), and the government of Mexico City—organized a workshop to launch the Building Efficiency Accelerator partnership in Mexico City. One hundred policymakers, business leaders, and representatives of civil society joined to shape a new partnership aiming to improve building efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city.

Better buildings for a sustainable Mexico City

SE4All is a United Nations initiative aiming to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030. The initiative targets three specific, interlinked objectives:

  1. Provide universal access to modern energy services
  2. Double the rate of improvement in overall energy efficiency
  3. Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix

To achieve these targets, action on buildings is critical. At the recent workshop, Jennifer Layke, Director of the Building Efficiency Initiative at WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Citiespresented the Building Efficiency Accelerator, part of SE4All’s Energy Efficiency Accelerator platform. The Building Efficiency Accelerator helps local and regional governments speed the adoption of best practices and implement energy efficient building solutions.

Jennifer Layke, Director, Initiative for Building Efficiency, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, presents at the launch of the Building Efficiency Accelerator in Mexico City on March 19, 2015. Photo by EMBARQ Mexico. 

This partnership will engage officials in Mexico City to implement local building energy codes and will develop pilot projects to be highlighted at the COP21 climate negotiations in Paris later this year. The program will also create a baseline performance index for evaluating energy efficiency in buildings. Partnering cities will monitor and report their progress annually, facilitating an informative exchange of experiences and best practices between stakeholders and local governments. Participants at the recent workshop addressed the issues of building efficiency codes, public building renovations, and efficiency improvements, and developed an action plan for how to move forward. Mexico City became the first city in Mexico to officially join the platform, making good on its commitment to do so at last September’s UN Climate Summit.

This is an important step forward for building a more efficient, sustainable Mexico City. According to Adriana Lobo, Executive Director of EMBARQ Mexico:

Adriana Lobo, EMBARQ Mexico presents at the launch of the Building Efficiency Accelerator in Mexico City

Adriana Lobo, Director, EMBARQ Mexico presents on opportunities to increase building efficiency in Mexico City in front of more than 100 stakeholders on March 19, 2015. Photo by EMBARQ Mexico.

"This is the first step for EMBARQ Mexico venturing into the field of energy efficiency, contributing to our goal of achieving more sustainable cities. I remember one meeting with Odon de Buen, Director of the National Commission for the Efficient Use of Energy (CONUEE), where we discussed the great opportunities working in this area to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. We are excited to work on this project with the support and backing of the World Resources Institute, whose team of experts will be working in Mexico to consolidate sustainable projects that can be replicated in Mexican cities.”

A version of this article was originally published in Spanish by EMBARQ Mexico.