The Environmental Justice Dimension of the Mexican Emissions Trading System

Danae Hernandez-Cortes, Erick Rosas-López

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Emissions trading systems have the potential of increasing air quality given that GHG emissions are often co-produced with local pollutants such as NOx, SOx, and Particulate Matter (PM). Can emissions trading systems exacerbate or alleviate environmental justice concerns in emerging economies? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Justice is achieved when no group is disproportionately affected by an environmental policy or phenomenon. The main objective of this chapter is to estimate the pollution burden faced by marginalized neighbourhoods in Mexico. This is relevant for Mexico given the beginning of the pilot program of the Mexican Emissions Trading System (ETS) and the country’s history of income inequality and poverty. Using linear regression and two-way fixed effects methods, we found that the highest emitters regulated under the ETS are located near poor populations. We estimated a 5% CO2 emissions-reduction scenario corresponding to national targets and associated NO2 emissions to that scenario. We find that this scenario is consistent with a decrease in the exposure of NO2 pollution for the most marginalized neighbourhoods. This chapter also discusses other potential sources of environmental injustice that could result after the beginning of the ETS and the potential to address them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSpringer Climate
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages21
StatePublished - 2022

Publication series

NameSpringer Climate
ISSN (Print)2352-0698
ISSN (Electronic)2352-0701


  • Co-pollutants
  • Emissions trading
  • Environmental justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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