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Current situation

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

Emissions profile

Chile’s total greenhouse gas emissions are dominated by the power/heating sector, which accounted for 32% of emissions in 2016, followed by transport at 24% of total GHG emissions. Total emissions have increased from 2010-2016 by 22%.4 As Chile’s power sector is responsible for its largest share of emissions, it remains the main policy focus for the implementation and compliance of its NDC.

The forestry sector has been an important carbon sink for the past two decades with average emissions absorption of -62 MtCO₂e/year between 2006 and 2016. Chile has a goal to achieve net zero GHG emissions by 2050, for which it foresees LULUCF playing a critical role to sequester carbon.5 50% of the emissions reductions needed to achieve its net zero GHG objective are expected to be covered by land-based carbon sinks (-65 MtCO₂e/yr in 2050).6

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.

Chileʼs current GHG emissions

MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values

By sector

  • Power
  • Transport
  • Industry (energy use)
  • Buildings
  • Fugitive emissions
  • Other
  • Agriculture
  • Industry (processes)
  • Waste
  • LULUCF
Energy (78%)⟵ LULUCF negative emissions

By gas

  • CO₂
  • CH₄
  • N₂O
  • Other
00

Sectors by gas

Energy
097%0
Agriculture
00
Industry (processes)
00

Energy system

Chile’s energy mix is dominated by oil, accounting for roughly 42% of its total energy supply in 2019.7 Meanwhile, in the power sector, coal and gas account for 37% and 19% of production, respectively. Reducing and then phasing out fossil fuels within the power sector will be the most important driver of decarbonisation, together with shifting away from the use of oil and diesel in the transport sector.

Chile is an importer of coal and natural gas, mostly from Colombia and Argentina.8 In mid-2019, the government announced its plans to close eight (out of 28) older coal-fired power plants by 2024, and the rest by 2040.9 The government has also adopted targets in its National Energy Policy 2050 to meet 60% of national power production with renewable energy by 2035 and 70% by 2050.3 Currently, the power sector only has a 20% share of non-hydro renewables, including solar, wind and biomass, and large-scale hydropower constitutes 29%.7

Targets and commitments

Economy-wide targets

Target type

Fixed level target

NDC target

Unconditional target
  • Absolute emissions limit of 95 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).2
  • Peak Emissions by 2025.
  • Emissions budget of 1100 MtCO₂e between 2020 and 2030.
  • 14% below 2015 by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).
Conditional target
  • Up to 45% below 2016 levels by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).1
  • 61-91 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030 (excl. LULUCF).1

Market mechanism

  • Chile does not exclude the use of market mechanisms, formally recognising Article 6 in its NDC.

Long-term target

  • Net zero GHG (incl. LULUCF) by 2050.6
  • Reduce total black carbon emissions by at least 25% by 2030 below 2016 levels.2

Sector coverage

EnergyIndustryWasteAgriculture

Greenhouse gas coverage

CO₂CH₄HFCsN₂OSF₆

Sectoral targets

Energy

  • Power: Share of renewables in electricity generation to reach 60% by 2035, and 70% by 2050.3
  • Coal phase out by 2040 (5,5 GW by 2040).

LULUCF

  • Reducing emissions from land use and land degradation by 25% by 2030 compared to the average between 2001 and 2013.2

Transport

  • 40% share of EVs in private light duty vehicles by 2050.10
  • 100% share of EVs in public urban transport by 2050.11

Footnotes