Green bonds and green loans have become one of the fastest growing financial assets in recent years. In Mexico, a new Supreme Court precedent and a congress proposed amendment will likely boost interest in green finance and securities in the years to come. This article looks at the green loans and bonds market in Mexico and the development of new funding opportunities for local governments to invest in sustainable and environmental projects.
Appetite for green bonds and loans in Mexico
Green bonds and loans market in Mexico
In the last decade, Mexico has seen a growing appetite for green bonds and loans. As of today, Mexico is the leading country in the Latin American green bond market, with 12 issues in the Mexican Stock Exchange (the BMV) (Bolsa Mexicana de Valores) for a total amount of US$1.7b. The BMV was the first in Latin America to offer a segment dedicated to green bonds, which proved Mexico's commitment to green market development.1
Ever since the BMV introduced green bonds in the country, the government of Mexico City, Nacional Financiera (Nafin), a state owned development bank, and other private companies, such as Rotoplas, Vinte and BBVA Bancomer, have used green bonds to finance projects related to renewable energies, management of water and waste, sustainable agriculture, recycling of water and clean transportation.2
In 2015 Nafin issued the first Mexican green bond for US$500m. This was the first Latin American bond to gain Climate Bond Certification by the Climate Bonds Standard Board. The proceeds of the Nafin first green bond were allocated to financing wind energy generation projects in Mexico. 3
The government of Mexico City in 2016 became the first local government in Latin America to launch a local green bond to finance climateresilient infrastructure including access to potable water, wastewater systems, energy efficient public lighting and transport infrastructure. 4
This issuance included funding for the reparation and maintenance of the Line 5 of Mexico City's bus rapid transit Metrobus (the Metrobus) (Sistema de Corredores de Transporte Público de Pasajeros de la Ciudad de México). The green bond was issued for a total amount of US$50m and received an award by the Climate Bonds Initiative in London due to its success as the first local green bond in Latin America.5
In 2017, the government of Mexico City placed a second green bond for US$80m for the construction of the Metrobus Line 7's road corridor, which financed the construction of terminals, and stations.6
The third local green bond in Mexico City was issued in 2018 for US$57m for 27 projects related to energy efficiency projects and the maintenance of the Metrobus, as well as the improvement in drinking water and sewage infrastructure in certain communities in Mexico City.7
New funding opportunities for governments
Landmark decision by the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice
Back in February 2019, the Mexican Supreme Court of Justice ruled on the validity of articles 6 to 36 under the Treasury Law of the state of Zacatecas (Ley de Hacienda del Estado de Zacatecas) (the Green Tax Resolution), in relation to the constitutional challenge filed by the executive branch of the federal government.8
Under this resolution, the state of Zacatecas is allowed to issue and collect green taxes on the following activities: (i) the soil and subsoil material extraction (ii) the gas and pollutants emissions into the atmosphere and (iii) the deposit or storage of waste.9
The Green Tax Resolution was approved by majority of the justices. According to the Constitution of the United Mexican State (the Mexican Constitution) when a constitutional challenge is ruled by majority, it becomes jurisprudential criteria or "law of the land" 10, which means that every jurisdictional authority in Mexico must rule based on the terms of the jurisprudential precedent11.
The Green Tax Resolution represents an opportunity for other local governments to include green taxes in their legislation, in terms of this landmark precedent and the Mexican environmental legal framework.
1 Mexican Stock Exchange, Bonos Verdes, Mexico City, Available online: bmv.com.mx, National, https://www.bmv.com.mx/docspub/MI_EMPRESA_EN_ BOLSA/CTEN_MINGE/BONOS%20VERDES_cambios_2018.pdf (Consulted: May 8th, 2019).
2 Zepeda, C. "México, el país con más bonos 'verdes' de la Alianza del Pacífico: BMV", Mexico City: March 19th, 2019. Available online: elfinanciero.com, National, (Consulted: May 8th, 2019)
3 Nacional Financiera, "Reporting on Green Bond", Mexico City: December 31st, 2015, Available online: nafin.com, National, (Consulted: May 8th, 2019).
4 MÉXICO2. "La ciudad de México emite el primer bono verde subnacional en América Latina", Mexico City: 2016, Available online: mexico2.com.mx, National, (Consulted: May 8th, 2019)
5 El Economista, "CDMX, premiada por emisión de bono verde", Mexico City: March 6th, 2017, Available online: eleconomista.com.mx, National, (Consulted: May 8th, 2019).
6 Secretaría del Medio Ambiente, "Financiamiento: Bonos verdes", Mexico City, Available online: data.sedema.cdmx.gob.mx, National, (Consulted: May 8th, 2019).
7 Comunicación Corporativa. "Lanza CDMX tercer Bono Verde", Mexico City: November 13th, 2018. Bolsa Mexicana de Valores, Available online: blog. bmv.com.mx, National (Consulted: May 8th, 2019).
8 Jurisprudence. Constitutional Controversy. Plenary session of Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico. Record number: 56/2017, February, 2019.
9 Articles 6 to 36. Finance Act of the State of Zacatecas, (Enactment December 31st, 2016/ December 20th, 2017).
10 Article 105, Political Constitution of the Unites Mexican States, (Enactment February 5th, 1917/ April 12, 2019).
11 Article 43, Regulatory Act of fractions I and II of Article 105 of the Political Constitution of the United Mexican States, (Enactment May 11th, 1995/ January 27th, 2015).
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