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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Assessing sustainability of a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action for energy-efficiency measures in the Mexican residential building sector

Emily Castro-Prieto

Assessing sustainability of a Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action for energy-efficiency measures in the Mexican residential building sector


As the Kyoto Protocol commitment period draws to an end, the climate change international negotiations are now evolving to promote more participatory climate instruments to better engage developing countries in reducing global green house gases (GHG) emissions.

A promising climate framework has been the agreement that developing countries may voluntarily propose to undertake Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) with the option to be supported by industrialized countries. Mexico has been a leader in designing the NAMA roadmap. One of its proposals includes the Supported NAMA Design Concept for Energy-Efficiency Measures in the Mexican Residential Building Sector. That report discusses how to combine and repackage ongoing and planned Mexican GHG reduction programmes to increase their impact and to set an urban planning process under a NAMA concept. The effective implementation of NAMAs would require the development of an overall framework for enabling policies and financial mechanisms, while ensuring that the sustainability drivers are preserved.

This research evaluates the effort to overcome barriers to the implementation of the Residential NAMA under an integrated sustainable development analysis. Relevant NAMA players have played a large role in discussing the drivers and current state of. The key resulting indicators are grouped in scopes of sustainable development (environmental, social, economic and network governance). To complement the study, different methods for integrated sustainability assessment are compared in order to propose the adoption of the most suitable for the Residential NAMA context.

Three benefits can be obtained from the use of this framework: it could be replicable to other NAMA pilots; helps policy-makers to direct their efforts in tackling those barriers that have greater impact to SD; provides the foundation to build an SD indicator system contextualized to the specific sectorial needs.


Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.