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Chile Ambition gap

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

1.5°C compatible pathways

Chile’s conditional NDC targets 90–95 MtCO2e/yr by 2030 (14-18% below 2016 values). To be in line with a 1.5°C pathway, Chile’s emissions should be close to 64 MtCO2e (41% below 2016 levels) by 2030. The gap between Chile’s target and 1.5°C compatible pathway is 26 MtCO2 e or an extra 24% reduction below the 2016 reference year.

To be on track with 1.5°C pathways assessed here, Chile would need to reduce GHG emissions to 52–71 MtCO2e/yr by 2030, which is 36–53% below 2016 levels when excluding LULUCF sinks. In all scenarios, GHG emissions should have peaked by 2020 at the latest. However, Chile is aiming to peak emissions in 2025.

Steeper GHG emissions reductions are required to be aligned with 1.5°C pathways. Some of the most effective measures for rapid emission reductions would be more aggressive substitution of fossil fuels with renewable energy and earlier coal and gas phase-out dates.

Long term pathway

The 1.5°C pathways assessed here show that Chile would need to reduce emissions to between 8–20 MtCO₂e by 2050. Chile has set a goal of achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050, relying on an estimated land carbon sink of -65 MtCO₂e/yr.12 The assessed pathways show that the remaining emissions in 2050 come mainly from agriculture and waste and would need to be compensated through the use of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) approaches, including reforestation/afforestation.19

1 Climate Action Tracker. Chile. November 2022 update. Climate Action Tracker. 2022.

2 PIK. PRIMAP: Paris-Reality Check, Chile. 2016.

3 Ministerio de Energía. Energia abierta: Balance nacional de energía.

4 Guerra, E. & Guillén, J. Leyes de Eficiencia Energética en Latinoamérica y el Caribe. 2021.

5 Ministry of Energy. Energia 2050 Politica Energetica de Chile. 2022.

6 Ministerio de Minería, G. de C. Minería 2050. Politica Nacional Minera. 2022.

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

11 Climate Action Tracker. CAT Climate Target Update Tracker Chile. Climate Action Tracker. 2020.

12 Ministerio de Energia del Gobierno de Chile. NDC y Plan de Carbono Neutralidad 2050. 2020.

13 Ministerio de Energia- Gobierno de Chile. Plataforma de Electromovilidad. Orientaciones de Politicas Publicas. 2022.

14 EBP Chile. Estudio de Movilidad Eléctrica en Chile. 2018.

15 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.

16 Government of Chile. Chile announces that it will work to put an end to coal use by 2030 after joining the Powering Past Coal Alliance. 2021.

17 Ministerio de Energía. Energía 2050: Política Energética de Chile. 2015.

18 Gütschow, J., Günther, A. & Pflüger, M. The PRIMAP-Hist national historical emissions time series (1990-2021). 2022.

19 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 goal. 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 total GHG emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂e/yr

Displayed values
Reference year
Net zero GHG excl. LULUCF*
Reference year
1.5°C emissions level
NDC (conditional)
NDC (unconditional)
Ambition gap
  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Current policy projections
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Historical emissions
2030 emissions levels
Current policy projections
NDC (conditional)
1.5°C emissions level
Ref. year 2016

Energy system transformation

Chile has set a target of reducing emissions from the energy sector by 25% below 2018 levels by 2030, and 60% by 2050.

The country’s primary energy mix is currently dominated by fossil fuels at around 68% (in 2020). This share will need to approximately halve by 2030, with some 1.5°C pathways showing a fossil fuel share of less than 5% in 2040.

Different approaches could be taken to decarbonise the energy mix: Increasing the share of renewable energy to 46–53% by 2030 and 100% by 2050 would avoid the need for carbon dioxide removals (CDR). Alternatively, a lower penetration of renewable energy would require an increasing use of CDR technologies to compensate emissions from remaining fossil fuels.


Chileʼs primary energy mix

petajoule per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
20192030204020502 0003 000
SSP1 High CDR reliance
20192030204020502 0003 000
Low energy demand
20192030204020502 0003 000
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
20192030204020502 0003 000
  • Renewables incl. biomass
  • Unabated fossil
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS

Chileʼs total CO₂ emissions

excl. LULUCF MtCO₂/yr

  • 1.5°C compatible pathways
  • 1.5°C emissions range
  • Middle of the 1.5°C compatible range
  • Historical emissions

1.5°C compatible emissions benchmarks

Key emissions benchmarks of Paris compatible Pathways for Chile. The 1.5°C compatible range is based on the Paris Agreement compatible pathways from the IPCC SR1.5 filtered with sustainability criteria. The median (50th percentile) to 5th percentile and middle of the range are provided here. Relative reductions are provided based on the reference year.

Reference year
Reference year
Year of net zero
incl. BECCS excl. LULUCF and novel CDR
Total GHG
Megatonnes CO₂ equivalent per year
52 to 71
12 to 36
4 to 19
Relative to reference year in %
−53 to −37%
−89 to −67%
−96 to −83%
Total CO₂
32 to 55
−7 to 23
−9 to 3
2038 to 2062
Relative to reference year in %
−64 to −37%
−108 to −73%
−111 to −96%