The biggest gap in Colombia’s climate policy is the lack of a phase-out date for coal or natural gas. Coal currently plays a minor role in Colombia’s power sector (4% in 2017), although its share has been increasing in the past years. Colombia’s economy is heavily reliant on fossil fuel exports – coal and oil currently account for roughly 47% of Colombian exports and profits from their sale make up roughly 4% of Colombian gross domestic product (GDP).1
To align with a path to limit warming to 1.5°C, coal would need to be immediately phased out from the power sector. The 1.6 GW of capacity currently planned would therefore need to be scrapped. Gas, which accounted for 14% of power capacity in 2017, would need to be phased out between 2027 and 2032. Depending upon the context, Columbia may require international support to achieve these phase out schedules.
Colombia has made good progress implementing renewables in the power sector. Over 70% of Colombian power supply comes from hydropower. However, there are no further targets for rapidly upscaling renewables beyond 2022. The government has set a target for only a 9% increase in the share of non-hydro renewables by 2022. In contrast, our models indicate that at least 95% of power would need to be generated by renewables in 2030 to be in line with a 1.5°C pathway.