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Argentina In brief

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

Economy wide

The level of ambition required for a 1.5°C compatible domestic emissions pathway is 38% below 2015 levels, or 210 MtCO₂e/yr in 2030, when excluding LULUCF. p(info-co2_budgets). Argentina is not on track to meet its current NDC target, with current policy projections estimating emissions of 429-438 MtCO₂e/yr in 2030 or 25-27% below 2015 levels.

Argentinaʼs total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values
Reference year
−100%−50%0%19902010203020502070
Reference year
2015
1.5°C emissions level
−38%
NDC (unconditional)
−9%
Ambition gap
−29%
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions

2030 NDC

Argentina’s NDC, updated in 2020, aims for absolute emissions in 2030 of 313 MtCO₂e/yr excluding LULUCF, which is a 9% reduction below 2015 levels.1

1 Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible Argentina. Segunda Contribución Determinada a Nivel Nacional de la República Argentina. (UNFCCC, 2020).

2 Climate Action Tracker. Climate Target Update Tracker: Argentina. (2020).

3 International Energy Agency (IEA). Argentina Country Profile. (2018).

4 Climate Transparency. BROWN TO GREEN: THE G20 TRANSITION TOWARDS A NET-ZERO EMISSIONS ECONOMY: Argentina. (2019).

5 Climate Action Tracker. Argentina: Current Policy Projections. (2020).

6 Ministry of Energy of Argentina. National Action Plan on Energy and Climate Change [Plan de Acción Nacional de Energía y Cambio Climático]. (Ministry of Energy of Argentina [Ministerio de Energía de Argentina], 2017).

7 El Senado y Cámara de Diputados de la Nación Argentina. Ley 27191: Régimen de Fomento Nacional para el uso de Fuentes Renovables de Energía destinada a la Producción de Energía Eléctrica. Modificación Ley 26190. (El Senado y Cámara de Diputados de la Nación Argentina, 2015).

8 Ministerio de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sostenible. Plan Nacional de Mitigación del sector Transporte – PNMT. 1–83 (2017).

9 Secretaria de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable Argentina. Listado de medidas de mitigación y adaptación a nivel nacional (Contribución Nacional ) Febrero 2019. (2019).

10 República de Argentina. Plan de Acción Nacional de Agro y Cambio Climático. (2019).

11 Climate Action Tracker. Argentina | July 2020 Update.

12 Congreso de la Nación Argentina. Ley 26.331: LEY DE PRESUPUESTOS MINIMOS DE PROTECCION AMBIENTAL DE LOS BOSQUES NATIVOS. (El Senado y Cámara de Diputados de la Nación Argentina, 2007).

13 Bauza, V. A New Dawn: Argentina Taps Into Its Renewable Energy Potential. International Finance Corporation (2017).

14 Caruana, M. E. C. La energía renovable en Argentina como estrategia de política energética e industrial. Probl. del Desarollo 50, (2019).

15 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.

16 This target is in AR4 GWP; Argentina originally expressed their NDC target in SAR GWP of 359 MtCO₂ excl. LULUCF.

Net zero

Argentina announced a goal of reaching net zero CO₂ by 2050.1,2 Paris Agreement compatible pathways show CO₂ emissions decreasing to nearly zero by 2050 when excluding LULUCF emissions.15 Meanwhile, GHG emissions should decrease by about 78% (77-82%) below 2015 levels by 2050, equal to about 75 (62-78) MtCO₂e (excl. LULUCF) by 2050, in Paris Agreement compatible pathways.”

Net zero GHG

Remaining emissions will need to be balanced by the use of carbon dioxide removal approaches, such as through the land sector. Given that LULUCF emissions are a current source of emissions in the country, Argentina will need to implement stronger policies to reduce its land use emissions and transform the sector into a carbon sink to reach net zero GHG.

Fossil fuel subsidies

Ending subsidies for fossil fuels, banning new natural gas exploration in domestic gas fields, increasing investments in solar and wind power, and increasing spending on building electric mobility are some of the opportunities available to decarbonise the power and transport sectors.

Sectors

Power

  • To align itself with a 1.5°C compatible pathway, Argentina’s power sector would need to increase its renewable power share to at least 79% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. A zero emitting power sector can already be reached in the 2030s.
  • To align with a Paris Agreement compatible pathway, coal would need to be phased out almost immediately and natural gas would need to be phased out of the power sector between 2035-2038.
  • Phasing out gas is likely to pose challenges for Argentina, as natural gas is promoted as a substitute for oil in their updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). Increasing gas infrastructure investments will create high energy costs, the potential for stranded assets, and “lock-in” emissions, making it more difficult to transition to renewable energy.
  • The country could strongly benefit from switching to decentralised renewables with mini grids offsetting the need for the maintenance of massive transmission lines, avoiding major black outs inherent to a centralised distribution model of power generation and supply.
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Footnotes