In its updated NDC from December 2020, Colombia pledges unconditionally to reach an emissions level of 167 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030 or 51% emissions reduction in 2030 compared to their BAU scenario, including LULUCF. When excluding LULUCF, this translates to an absolute emissions level range between 156-188 MtCO₂e/yr by 2030, equivalent to 2% below to 18% above 2015 levels.
In order to be consistent with a 1.5°C pathway, Colombia’s emissions, excluding LULUCF, would need to reach between 77-108 MtCO₂e by 2030 , equivalent to a 32 -51% reduction compared to 2015 levels. To fully achieve this Colombia would need a significant level of international support.
Colombia’s NDC is not conditional on international support. However, Colombia’s fair share lies above its domestic emissions pathway, indicating that it requires international support to close the gap between its fair share level and its 1.5°C domestic emissions pathway.
Long term pathway
Colombia has announced its intention to achieve “carbon neutrality” by 2050, and has also aligned the development of its updated NDC target with developing a carbon neutrality plan. Carbon neutrality is most often understood as achieving net zero CO₂ emissions rather than the full scope of GHGs, and including LULUCF.
Given the alignment of Colombia’s carbon neutrality target with the strong LULUCF mitigation focus present in its updated NDC, it can be assumed that Colombia has not in fact yet addressed its trajectory toward net zero GHG emissions excluding LULUCF in its current policies.
To be 1.5°C compatible, Colombia GHG emissions should be reduced by 89% below 2015 levels by around 2050 or reach levels not higher than 17 MtCO₂e/yr by 2050. On the road to net zero, the country will need to balance its remaining emissions through the development of land-based sinks. This means that stringent policies will be needed to reduce LULUCF emissions, currently a source of emissions accounting for close to a third of total GHG emissions in 2014, to become net negative in the future. CO₂ emissions would need to be at zero by 2050 and in some scenarios, by 2040.
Rapid upscaling of renewable energy will help to achieve zero CO₂ emissions earlier and reduce the need for carbon dioxide removal approaches.