The regional scenarios document the possible impacts on emissions and air quality initiated by potential changes to policies on transportation, technology, fuel, and mobility systems during the upcoming decades. The intention of these scenarios is to show stakeholders that the implementation of sustainable policies plays a critical role in ensuring projected emissions do not become a reality (WEC, 2011).

The objective of this activity is to provide a source of information on current emissions projections and present scenarios for sustainable urban transport and climate change in Latin America and their potential impacts. These initially focus on Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.

2. Population and Emissions Regional Scenarios

According to the 2010 Census Mexico has a population of 112,336,538 and is ranked as the 11th most populated country worldwide (INEGI, 2010). Its population growth rate is 1.086% for 2012 (CIA, 2012) with 75% living in urban areas and a continuing shift to urbanization (World Bank, 2010). Mexico’s GDP in 2010 was 8,830,376,102 Mexican Pesos (1,034,804,491,265 current USD), and its GDP per capita was 14,400 USD. According to the MEDEC, Mexico’s vehicle fleet was around 24 million in 2008, and it is expected to grow to 70 million in 2030 with an annual motorization rate of 5.1%. If these trends continues, CO2e emissions will grow from 170 MtCO2e in 2008 to 440 MtCO2e in 2030.

Source: Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía - INEGI. Censo de Población y Vivienda, 2010.


According to the emissions inventory of 2008, Mexico’s total emissions are 643.2 Mt CO2 e /year which represent 1.5% of global emissions of CO2e from fuel combustion.

Total regional transport-related CO2 emissions (millions of tons/year)

Source: International Energy Agency (IEA, 2011), and World Energy Council (WEC, 2011).


The above graph shows Latin America and Mexico CO2 emission in the business as usual and emissions reduction policy trends. The emissions grow with increasing population size and rising income, leading to an unsustainable future for future generations. Increasing motorization is directly responsible for rising pollution in developing countries. In the scenario with emission reduction policies, government plays an important role by deciding to prioritize sustainable policies and to increase their international cooperation on climate change issues in the short to medium term. Large government programs focus on energy efficiency and energy saving programs. This results in more effective energy saving, and a drop in the demand for energy in this scenario. These emission reduction policies have a stronger emphasis on public transport, lowering growth rates of vehicle ownership and other proven policy options. (WEC, 2011)

Mexico is among one of the most carbon-intensive economies in Latin America, and its’ transport sector is no exception. 18% of Mexico’s total GHG emissions come from transport (IEA, 2011); also most of these emissions are in cities such as Mexico City where transport accounts for 41% of total GHG emissions (World Bank, 2009). Mexico has a highest rate of motorization in Latin America in 2008 was one vehicle per four habitants (MEDEC, 2008). Motorization in Mexican cities is increasing 10% annually, private car represent the 80% of motor vehicle but only about 30% of trips (World Bank, 2009); it is expected that by 2030 that trend remain constant (see graph in section 5.3 Car Ownership and Gasoline Vehicles VKT). It implicates to reach one vehicle per two habitant and demands to make large infrastructure investments.