The General Law on Climate Change in Mexico was issued in 2012. This law contemplated the Climate Change Fund, a public trust fund created to increase the existing resources to address climate change. According to article 80 of the Law, it had the objective of attracting and channeling public, private, national, and international financial resources to support the implementation of actions to address climate change. However, in 2020 the Mexican Congress reformed the Law and eliminated the Climate Change Fund.
On December 17, 2020, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) filed a complaint against the amendments, arguing among others, that it violates the constitutional right to a healthy environment. The plaintiff requested an injunction to suspend the effects of the amendments, asking the Court to stop the elimination of the Fund. The injunction was denied.
However, the Judge considered that the reform did not restrict the exercise of any right. The Judge argued that the reform did not disappear the funds to address climate change, it only reallocated the resources on to the Federal Expenditure Budget. Therefore, the Court decided the case against CEMDA, considering it did not violate the right to a healthy environment. CEMDA appealed the decision before a Collegiate Tribunal.
In August 2021, the Tribunal decided, due to the relevance of the case, to send the appeal the Mexican Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s decision is still pending.
On April 12, 2023, the Supreme Court decided that it is not up to the judges to evaluate whether a public policy, in a broad sense, is suitable to fulfill a specific purpose, since these decisions correspond to the executive and legislative branches of government. Considering that the modification of the strategy to combat climate change (to extinguish the Climate Change Fund and transfer that budget directly assigned to the Environmental Secretariat) is a matter of public policy, this modification cannot be analyzed by judges. Legislators have ample freedom to determine the mechanisms they deem appropriate to direct the policy to combat climate change.
Furthermore, it was determined that it was not demonstrated that the Fund’s resources, after the modification, will not be used in a correct, transparent and equitable manner.
Therefore, the Judge’s decision was confirmed, and the claim was denied.