The Chilean Government updates its commitment to emissions reductions and measures to address climate change

April 9, 2020. Science Minister Andrés Couve highlighted the role of Chile’s scientific community through the COP25 Scientific Committee, which made significant contributions towards developing and improving the definitive NDC.

The Chilean Government officially delivered via videoconference its updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), becoming the first country in Latin America and one of the first in the world to do so. This document is an obligation established in the Paris Agreement and contains commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 and address the impacts of climate change.

The document was presented by Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt, Energy Minister Juan Carlos Jobet and Science Minister Andrés Couve. The Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, Patricia Espinosa, spoke to them via videoconference, welcoming Chile’s delivery of its commitments in this area.

Minister Schmidt stated, “when we overcome the crisis, we will enter a reactivation stage which must be sustainable. The recovery plans must consider as a fundamental factor the climate crisis and its social impact on people and the land. This is a key moment and that is why we have presented our new NDC with ambitious targets and commitments that will enable our recovery plans to be focused on a clear objective. This is to make steady progress with our transformation towards becoming a low-emission, climate-resilient economy that offers great social, environmental and economic advantages for improving people’s quality of life.”

The Minister added, “this is why this new NDC sets ambitious targets in four key pillars: mitigation, adaptation, integration and, for the first time, a social pillar that permeates the other three in order to channel our development to ensure it is low in emissions, climate resilient and focused on impacting the life of people in their territory.”

Minister Jobet stated that “the measures have been prioritized according to their cost efficiency and grouped into six areas of action.  These areas and the respective contribution to the NC 2050 are: sustainable industry and mining (25%), hydrogen production and consumption (21%), sustainable building of homes and public-commercial buildings (17%), electromobility – primarily public systems (17%), the decommissioning of coal-fired power stations (13%) which is one of the main enabling measures, and other energy efficiency measures (7%).”

He added that “achieving the target of carbon neutrality will mean investment opportunities of between US$27,300 and US$48,600 million by 2050.”

Minister Couve emphasized that “for the first time Chile’s scientific community participated actively, contributing evidence to the process of updating the NDC. This participation took place through the COP25 Scientific Committee, organized by the Science Ministry. More than 600 Chilean scientists organized into seven working groups contributed evidence, which enabled us to contextualize what it means to incorporate the carbon budget into the real situation in Chile. This also allowed us to clearly establish a target and a peak year in terms of Greenhouse Gas emissions. There were also contributions from the scientific community in the area of oceans, adaptation, biodiversity and towards the Climate Change Technology Transfer and Development Strategy.”

Principal areas

Chile’s NDC has been updated in an unprecedented manner to include a social pillar of just transition and sustainable development as a structural component of Chile’s commitments for addressing climate change and complying with the stipulations of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals established by the UN.

The other components of the NDC are: 

Mitigation: Chile has committed to a GHG emissions budget of no more than 1,100 MtCO2eq, in the period between 2020 and 2030, reaching the peak in GHG emissions by 2025, and achieving a GHG emissions level of 95 MtCO2eq by 2030. It also proposes a reduction of at least 25% in the 2016 level of total black carbon emissions by 2030.

Adaptation: Chile has committed to increasing the information mechanisms for managing the impacts of climate change on water resources.

Integration: Chile has made a commitment to develop a  National Plan for the Restoration of Landscapes by 2021. which will incorporate the restoration of one million hectares of ecosystems by 2030, prioritizing those facing the greatest social, economic and environmental vulnerability.

Implementation measures (capacity building, technological transfer and financing): during this year the Financial Strategy on Climate Change (EFCC) will begin to be implemented.

Source: Chile Reports, April 10, 2020