Date of text
Sabin Center
Court name
Circuit Court
Reference number
Amparo 751/2020 (district court), Amparo en Revisión 328/2021 (circuit court)
Climate Change

In June 29, 2016, Mexico made a joint declaration with the governments of Canada and the United States pledging to reduce methane emissions by between 40 and 45% by 2025. Mexico, through the National Agency for Industrial Security and Environmental Protection in the Hydrocarbon Sector (ASEA) and the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT), adopted its national guidelines for the integral prevention and control of methane emissions from the hydrocarbon sector as a way to implement this decision. The guidelines stipulate that any entity or person regulated by ASEA, like private companies or state-owned companies in the hydrocarbon sector, must establish a program for the monitoring, prevention, and control of methane emissions for both new and existing facilities. Originally, the guidelines ordered regulated entities to draft their programs within 12 months of the beginning of operations for new facilities or those still under construction and within 12 months of the guideline’s coming into force for existing facilities. The new guidelines gave regulated entities a 3-month period to turn in their respective programs after they were drafted. However, in June 2020, the 3-month period outlined previously was expanded to 19 months. On August 7, 2020, the Mexican Center for Environmental Law (CEMDA) challenged the modification for the submission of programs by suing ASEA and SEMARNAT.

On August 23, 2021, the district court ruled that CEMDA lacked legal standing to challenge the decision since the modification did not cause a special injury to the organization. This decision has been appealed and is currently before the Third Collegiate Tribunal for Administrative Matters of the First Circuit. On March 17, 2022, the Collegiate Tribunal confirmed the district court’s ruling, deciding that CEMDA lacked legal standing to challenge the modifications. Therefore, the case was dismissed.

Key environmental legal questions

Whether the modification of the period to submit the programs for control and prevention of methane emissions in the hydrocarbon sector is unconstitutional.