MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico will raise its target to unconditionally cut greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below usual levels by 2030 at this year's COP27 U.N. climate summit, its environment ministry said in a statement Tuesday, lifting its previous target of 22%.
Latin America's second-biggest greenhouse gas emitter will also raise its target for conditional emission cuts - a goal dependent on external support - to 40% from 36%.
Last year, Mexico pledged to expand its climate goals after research coalition Climate Action Tracker warned that emissions could actually rise under targets unchanged since 2016.
Climate Action Tracker had rated Mexico's previous goals "highly insufficient", noting the Paris Climate deal requires countries to progressively raise their percentage reduction targets to offset rising levels of overall emissions.
The ministry said Mexico would maintain its target to unconditionally cut "black carbon" emissions by 51%, or 70% depending on external conditions.
Black carbon is the sooty material emitted from coal plants and diesel engines, but Climate Action Tracker said its effect as an additional metric was "negligible" since it comes largely from the same sources as CO2.
Mexico's environment ministry said it had identified measures to cut an estimated 88.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually by 2030, including more industrial regulation, zero-emission vehicles, rail transport, remote working, and creating more natural reserves.
World leaders and delegates from nearly 200 countries traveled this week to the Egypt summit, where policymakers began discussing compensating poor nations for mounting damage linked to global warming.
The ministry said Mexico's delegates would focus on climate adaption, finance, and loss and damage.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who has faced criticisms for hindering development of privately funded renewable projects in favor of the state's largely fossil fuel-run electricity company, is not expected to attend.
Lopez Obrador has also vowed to help state oil company Pemex reverse a decade of declining oil production, but this has resulted in higher emissions from natural gas flaring. Methane leakage has also been a problem.
(Reporting by Sarah Morland; Editing by David Gregorio)