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What is Chileʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

In brief

This is a summary of the most important findings of our analysis. Get a brief overview over the most important figures and entry points into the various parts of the in depth analysis.

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Ambition gap

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Chileʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

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Displayed values
Reference year
−150 %−100 %−50 %0 %2000202020402060123456
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions
  1. 1
    1.5°C emissions level
    −47 %
  2. 2
    NDC (conditional)
    −45 %
  3. 3
    NDC (unconditional)
    −15 %
  4. 4
    Ambition gap
    −2 %
  5. 5
    Net zero GHG incl. BECCS excl. LULUCF and novel CDR
  6. 6
    Reference year
Key messages

Chile’s conditional NDC aims for an emissions level of 61-91 MtCO2e/yr by 2030 excluding LULUCF (19-45% below 2016 levels).1,2

1 Climate Action Tracker. CAT Climate Target Update Tracker. (2020).

2 Government of Chile. Chile’s Nationally Determined Contribution – Update 2020. (2020).

3 Ministerio de Energía. Energía 2050: Política Energética de Chile. (2015).

4 PIK. PRIMAP: Paris-Reality Check, Chile. (2016).

5 Gobierno de Chile. Ley de Cambio Climático de Chile. (2021).

6 Ministerio de Energia del Gobierno de Chile. NDC y Plan de Carbono Neutralidad 2050. (2020).

7 International Energy Agency. Country Profile: Chile. (2019).

8 S&P Global Platts. Chile lifts coal imports, but limited by rising natural gas supplies | S&P Global Platts. (2019).

9 Gobierno de of Chile. Presidente Piñera presentó plan para cerrar todas las centrales energéticas a carbón para que Chile sea carbono neutral. 4 de Junio (2019).

10 EBP Chile. Estudio de Movilidad Eléctrica en Chile. (2018).

11 La Tercera. El plan que busca convertir a Chile en el segundo país con más buses eléctricos del mundo. Electricidad. La revista energetica de Chile. (2018).

12 While global cost-effective pathways assessed by the IPCC Special Report 1.5°C provide useful guidance for an upper-limit of emissions trajectories for developed countries, they underestimate the feasible space for such countries to reach net zero earlier. The current generation of models tend to depend strongly on land-use sinks outside of currently developed countries and include fossil fuel use well beyond the time at which these could be phased out, compared to what is understood from bottom-up approaches. The scientific teams which provide these global pathways constantly improve the technologies represented in their models – and novel CDR technologies are now being included in new studies focused on deep mitigation scenarios meeting the Paris Agreement. A wide assessment database of these new scenarios is not yet available; thus, we rely on available scenarios which focus particularly on BECCS as a net-negative emission technology. Accordingly, we do not yet consider land-sector emissions (LULUCF) and other CDR approaches.

The lower end of Chile’s conditional NDC would be compatible with a 1.5°C pathway, which would require emissions levels of 40-67 MtCO2e/yr by 2030 (40-64% below 2016 levels). In contrast, the higher limit would represent an ambition gap of around 24-54 MtCO2e/yr.

Chile has announced the goal to reach net zero GHG emissions goal by 2050. However, it foresees 50% of these emissions reductions coming from sequestration from the land use and forestry sector (-65 MtCO2e/yr from LULUCF in 2050).

1.5°C compatible pathways would require Chile to limit GHG emissions below 14 MtCO2e/yr excluding LULUCF by 2050 (or 87% below 2016 levels). Chile would need to balance the remaining emissions through the use of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches to reach net-zero GHG by mid-century.12

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Key messages

To be aligned with 1.5°C pathways, Chile’s power sector will need to be fully decarbonised by 2030-2038 with renewables representing an 87-99% share of power generation by 2030, compared to roughly 44% in 2017.

While Chile has set a goal of phasing out coal by 2040, decarbonising Chile’s power sector will need to be driven by a coal phase out in the current decade and a gas phase out by 2031-2035. This stands in contrast with the country considering an increase of its share of natural gas.3

Decommissioning its fossil fuel-based power plants will reduce Chile’s dependency on fossil fuel imports, avoid the risk of stranded assets and provide opportunities for more renewable technologies, which are already cheaper than fossil fuels.

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Key power sector benchmarks

Renewables shares and year of zero emissions power Including the use of BECCS

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Current targets
Required targets
  1. 2030 87 to 99% Renewable share
  2. 2030-2038 Zero emissions power
  1. 2034 95 to 100% Renewable share
  1. 2035 60 % Renewable share
  1. 2040 Coal phase-out
  1. 2050 70 % Renewable share