There have been no cases brought against private actors in Mexico for failing to reduce their GHG emissions or damages relating to climate change. No cases have been brought against pension funds investing in climate change unfriendly portfolios either.

That said, it should be noted that the energy market in Mexico is dominated by major state-owned companies (i.e. Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) and Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE), oil and electricity producers, respectively) whose emissions surpass those resulting from private companies. Individuals have targeted their activities through public policy litigation (see Scenario 1) and may directly challenge them through private litigation strategies in future.

Individuals can bring a case against private actors based on the Federal Environmental Liability Law and the Federal Code of Civil Procedures if they wish to target their responsibilities for climate change mitigation and/or adaption measures. These laws can be invoked to remedy personal property damage or injury caused by climate change related events. The Federal Environmental Liability Law grants standing to individuals living in the community adjacent to the environmental damage (degraded land, polluted watercourses, landfills, etc.), and to non-profit environmental organizations, when they act on behalf of an inhabitant of the affected community (article 28, sections I and II). The Federal Code of Civil Procedures establishes that collective actions can be exercised by the representative of a community made up of at least thirty members, and by non-profit environmental organizations legally constituted at least one year prior to the time of filing the legal action (article 585, sections II and III).

The Federal Environmental Liability Law (Articles 13, 14) and the Federal Code of Civil Procedures (articles 604, 605),provide a general framework torepair environmental damage, by establishing that the judge has the ability to condemn the defendant and enforce a requirement to restore the environment to the state it was in prior to their interference. This can be implemented through a requirement for defendants to facilitate environmental regeneration efforts such as reforestation and soil restoration initiatives.

However, currently there is no precedent that has been set for how this could be developed in the area of climate change damages. In this context, a human rights approach may be used to redress climate change damage, keeping in mind the pro personae principle and the conventionality control enshrined in article 1 of the Mexican Constitution.

For more country specific context and relevant national climate change law see:

This country report has been produced by Hayley-Bo Dorrian-Bak, C2LI Senior Research Assistant and Gastón Medici-Colombo, C2LI Legal Analyst with the collaboration of Rodolfo Godínez Rosales, C2LI National Rapporteur for Mexico and Manuel Tripp Rivera (Consultoría Jurídica y de Políticas Públicas: Sociedad, Ambiente y Territorio). The summary is based on Rodolfo Godínez Rosales, “Climate Change and the Individual in Mexico” in F. Sindico and M. Moise Mbengue, Comparative Climate Change Litigation: Beyond the Usual Suspects, Springer, 2021.