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Ecuador In brief

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

Economy wide

Ecuador would need to reduce emissions by around 48% compared to 2015 levels, equivalent to absolute emissions of 35 MtCO₂e/yr, by 2025 to be compatible with a 1.5°C pathway.

Ecuadorʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values
Reference year
−150%−100%−50%0%19902010203020502070
Net zero GHG excl. LULUCF*
2065
Reference year
2015
1.5°C emissions level
−46%
NDC (unconditional)
+2%
NDC (conditional)
−8%
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions

Conditional NDC

Ecuador’s current conditional Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) aims to reduce emissions by 20.9% compared to its business-as-usual (BAU) scenario by 2025, resulting in emissions level of 63 MtCO₂e/yr in 20251. This is equivalent to a 7% emissions reduction compared to 2015 levels.

1 Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador. Primera Contribución Determinada a nivel nacional para el Acuerdo de París bajo la Convención Marco de Naciones Unidad sobre Cambio Climático. Gob. Ecuador 1–44 (2019).

2 International Energy Agency (IEA). IEA Country Report: Ecuador. (2020).

3 Plan Nacional de Mitigación del Cambio Climático (PLANMICC). Climaton.ec (2021).

4 MERNNR. Plan Maestro de Electricidad 2019-2027. MERNNR Minist. Energía y Recur. No Renov. Energía y Recur. No Renov. 390 (2019).

5 Ministerio del Ambiente (Ecuador). Primer Informe Bienal de Actualización de Ecuador. (2016).

6 Ministerio del Ambiente del Ecuador. Primer Informe Bienal de Actualización del Ecuador a la Convención Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre Cambio Climático. (2015).

7 Global Forest Watch. Ecuador Deforestation Rates & Statistics | GFW. (2021).

8 Timber Trade Portal. Forest resources and context of Ecuador. (2020).

9 Meta en Ecuador para depender menos del petróleo aún no se alcanza. El Universo (2019).

10 Gobierno de Ecuador. Estrategia Nacional de Cambio Climático del Ecuador 2012-2025. vol. 148 (2012).

11 Ministerio de Energía y Recursos Naturales No Renovables (Ecuador). MINISTERIO DE ENERGÍA INICIÓ LA ELABORACIÓN DEL PLAN ENERGÉTICO NACIONAL DEL ECUADOR PROYECTADO AL 2050. Boletín de prensa (2021).

12 Secretaría Nacional de Planificación y Desarrollo (Ecuador). Plan Nacional de Desarrollo 2017-2021-Toda una Vida. 84 (2017).

13 Ministerio de Energía y Recursos Naturales No Renovables (Ecuador). Ecuador actualiza su Plan Maestro de Electricidad para impulsar inversiones en Energías Renovables No Convencionales por cerca de USD 2.200 Millones. Boletín de Prensa (2021).

14 Energía Estratégica. Ecuador anuncia convocatorias para construir más de 1000 MW de energías renovables. Energía Estratégica (2021).

15 Alvarado, P. Plan de electricidad busca captar inversiones por cerca de USD 2 200 millones. El Comercio (2021).

16 Cristina, P. M. A. Análisis del Plan Nacional de Eficiencia Energética en el Ecuador. Rev. RIEMAT 5, 28–34 (2020).

17 Ministerio de Ambiente del Ecuador. Ecuador’s forest reference emission level for deforestation. REDD UNFCCC Submissions 59 (2015).

18 Ministerio del Ambiente (Ecuador). Bosques Para el Buen Vivir: Plan de Acción REDD+ Ecuador 2016-2025. (2016).

19 IRENA. Ecuador Energy Profile 2021.

20 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 which developed countries will need to implement in order to counterbalance their remaining emissions and reach net zero GHG are not considered here due to data availability.

Fair share

With international support, Ecuador will be able to implement its domestic emissions pathway, and close the gap between its fair share level and its 1.5°C compatible domestic emissions level.

2050 Ambition

A 1.5°C compatible pathway would require Ecuador to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions excluding land use and forestry (LULUCF) by around 88% by 2050 below 2015 levels.20 The key sector requiring rapid decarbonisation is the energy sector, with the greatest opportunities for decarbonisation in the power and transport sectors, as these will help drive CO₂ emissions reductions.

Remaining emissions

To increase land sinks to balance remaining emissions, the country will need to significantly reduce its LULUCF emissions which accounted for almost half of CO₂ emissions in 2010.

Long term target

As of January 2022, Ecuador has not announced a long-term emissions reduction pathway nor any indicative targets for reaching net zero emissions.3

Sectors

Power

  • A significant portion of Ecuador’s power sector is decarbonised, with 78% of electricity generated from renewable sources in 2019.2 This share would need to increase to at least 98% renewable power generation by 2030 to be 1.5°C compatible.
  • Achieving that target will require a rapid phase-out of fossil fuels, particularly oil and gas, from the power sector. Coal has so far never played a role in Ecuador’s power sector. However, gas still accounted for roughly 4% of power production as of 2019 and oil for roughly 17%.2
  • Gas would need to be phased out of the power sector by 2030 at the latest and the overall emissions intensity of the power sector would need to reach zero by 2033 at the latest.
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Footnotes