Chile Submits New Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)

Raising ambition through Electrification

In its new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), Chile takes a carbon budgeting approach. This means that Chile commits to a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions budget that will not exceed 1,100 Mt CO2eq between 2020 and 2030, peaking emissions already in 2025. In 2030, GHG emissions shall not exceed 95 Mt CO2eq.

New goals and new structure

These targets make Chile’s new NDC much more transparent than the first one which only included a carbon intensity goal (30% reduction of carbon intensity per unit GDP compared to 2007). The new NDC thereby incorporates the reporting and transparency mechanisms established in the Katowice rulebook, through which greater clarity will be achieved in the reporting and accounting of the country’s emissions.

Another particularity of Chile’s new NDC is its structure based on four pillars:

  1. Mitigation,
  2. Adaptation,
  3. Integration (Mitigation + Adaptation), and
  4. a new Social Pillar.

The social pillar focuses on safeguarding a just transition process towards decarbonization, as well as on contributions to sustainable development, with a special focus on overcoming poverty, and improvements in water and sanitation, clean energy, and others.

Chile’s new climate goals answer to pending challenges that had been left by its first NDC, now being in line with a 2-degree pathway. Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC who also participated in the presentation, highlighted the new Chilean NDC, stating that “this is extraordinarily important, especially for other countries that are doing the exercise of reviewing their [NDC] plans. I am sure it will be very useful, as an example for others.”

Electrifying ambition in the transport sector

Although the new Chilean NDC is not structured on the basis of sectoral mitigation targets, it does include a set of transport-related goals and measures to lower the sector’s emissions (currently responsible for 24% of Chile’s emissions), namely addressing electric mobility, shifting modes and green hydrogen.

Electric mobility targets

  • 100% electric taxis by 2050
  • 100% electric buses in urban public transport in all regions of the country by 2040
  • 60% electric private vehicles by 2050
  • 60% electric commercial vehicles by 2050

Modal shift measures

  • Encouraging a modal shift from private cars to bicycles or public transport

Hydrogen targets

  • 71% of cargo transport using green hydrogen by 2050, plus
  • 12% in the areas of motor use in industry and mining

Another new element of Chile’s updated NDC is the incorporation of measures to mitigate short-lived climate pollutants related to emissions from land transport, heating and the industrial sector. Thus, Chile incorporates the reduction of at least 25% of black carbon-related emissions by 2030, which is in line with the strong push for electric mobility, replacing diesel engines.

According to calculations presented by the Ministry of Energy of Chile, the mitigation potential resulting from the implementation of the above electric mobility measures alone is estimated at approximately 11 Mt CO2eq, corresponding to 17% of the descabonisation emission  scenario projected by Chile for 2050.

Chile’s sectoral mitigation targets – including those associated with transport – will be defined in Chile’s Long Term Strategy (LTS), which is currently under development. The process of the long-term strategy foresees the development of sectoral plans that will allow the fulfillment of the objectives committed to in the NDC and its goals of reducing emissions.

The update of the NDC and Chile’s new climate targets towards carbon neutrality by 2050, was presented on 9 April, in a virtual session chaired by Carolina Schmidt, Chile’s Minister of the Environment and current President of The Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Chile.

Chile’s new NDC is available here.

The entire NDC presentation by Minister Schmidt (in Spanish) is available here.


(c) Ministry of Environment of Chile

Valparaíso, Región de Valparaíso, Chile, Photo by Tyler Gooding on Unsplash

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