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Rapidly expanding cities in Mexico are bringing with them increased energy demand and inefficient transport patterns. Mexico’s residential sector currently accounts for about 16 per cent of total energy use and 26 per cent of total electricity use. But sustainable housing requires investment. This activity is helping Mexico tackle climate change by unlocking financing to build low-carbon housing and increasing the amount of mortgages for low-carbon housing.

Fast facts:

  • In the first seven years ECOCASA is helping build 27,600 houses and finance an additional 1,700 "green" mortgages;
  • Providing financing to build more sustainable houses will help lower energy consumption and spending, cut greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen government policies and initiatives;
  • The activity intends to reduce about one million tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the first seven years.
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The problem


The residential sector is essential in Mexico’s commitment to reduce GHG emissions 50% (below 2002 levels) by 2050. The expansion of Mexican cities over the past years has significantly increased their carbon footprint. According to estimates by the Social Development Ministry (SEDESOL), the pace of urban expansion reached - in the last 30 years – an average of 50 hectars daily. Housing represents no less than 60% of this growth. This expansion, when unchecked and/or insufficiently planned, has created inarticulate cities and brought about increased energy demand, infrastructure deficits and inefficient transport patterns.

A poorly designed house in a hot climate can use an additional 1.000 kWh per year, resulting in about 600 kg of CO2 unnecessarily released into the atmosphere. Poor planning and building practices result in increased expenditure in transportation and energy, but also in a loss in quality of life, as people spend a considerable amount of time commuting between work and home and live in houses with very low levels of comfort.
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image The solution

By increasing both the production of low-carbon housing and the supply of mortgages for low-carbon housing, ECOCASA is helping Mexico to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. ECOCASA is part of a multi-pronged approach to help Mexico follow a low-carbon growth path over the medium- to long-term.



Providing financing to build more sustainable houses will help lower energy consumption and spending, cut greenhouse gas emissions and strengthen government policies and initiatives. In the first seven years ECOCASA is helping build 27,600 houses and finance an additional 1,700 “green” mortgages.


Spillover effect

The activity seeks to scale up the deployment of low-carbon housing by providing the financing and the incentives that will lower the costs of both developing and acquiring low-carbon houses. The immediate outcome of the activity will be the construction of houses with lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions. But it is also expected that the activity will provide additional, long-lasting benefits to the housing sector in Mexico, as it will be part of Mexico’s Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action (NAMA) plan, joining targeted efforts with relevant actors in the housing sector and contributing to the mainstreaming of sustainability criteria in the housing industry.

The lessons learned from the project will be applicable to similar countries in the region, as well as in other regions. As part of technical cooperation activities, a South‐South exchange with country experts is envisioned. 



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