Studies in Comparative International Development

, Volume 42, Issue 3–4, pp 233–255

Importing Environmentalism: Explaining Petroleos Mexicanos’ Cooperative Climate Policy



Theories of environment and development tend to preemptively strip developing-country firms of environmental agency, depicting them as passive targets of market, regulatory, and ideational influences originating elsewhere. This research examines the processes by and conditions under which developing-country firms actively “import” environmental norms, programs, and practices, drawing on a case study of Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex)—one of the world’s largest oil companies and the only nationally-owned, developing-country oil company that has adopted a cooperative corporate climate policy. The article demonstrates that the company’s decision to support action on climate change resulted from efforts by climate policy entrepreneurs within Pemex’s environment division. They showed agency in choosing to prioritize the climate issue, in scanning their institutional environment for a climate policy template, in adjusting the template to suit Pemex’s particular circumstances, and in promoting the climate policy to internal and external constituencies. The research also highlights the prominent role of private sector channels in processes of environmental norm diffusion.


Environmental norms Petroleos Mexicanos Oil industry Climate change 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.International Studies and Environmental StudiesBrown UniversityProvidenceUSA

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