Date of text
Sabin Center
Court name
Supreme Court
Reference number
Amparo en Revisión 526/2020
Climate Change

Under Mexican Law, the House of Representatives is tasked with creating expenditure and revenue bills every year. For the 2019 expenditure bill, the House of Representatives reduced funds assigned for climate change adaptation and mitigation by 36% in relation to the 2018 Expenditure Bill, according to Greenpeace. On January 21, 2019, Greenpeace Mexico challenged this reduction. On January 21, 2019, the district judge determined that the challenge was nonjusticiable since it would transgress the relativity principle under which no amparo trial decisions can have effects beyond the parties. Greenpeace appealed this decision to the appellate Collegiate Tribunal, and the appellate court in turn decided to petition the Supreme Court to resolve the case.

The Supreme Court granted review. In its resolution, the Court reasoned that granting relief to Greenpeace would not transgress the relativity principle since the principle could be reinterpreted to mean that parties can get relief even if the relief incidentally benefits a third party. The Court remarked that the relativity principle cannot be interpreted to be an obstacle in the protection of the environment. Notwithstanding, it affirmed the district court’s decision since the 2019 Expenditure Bill was no longer in force by the time the dispute arrived at the Supreme Court.

Key environmental legal questions

Whether Greenpeace could challenge a budgetary reduction of funds to combat climate change.