23 April 2020
In Updated NDC, Chile Aligns Climate and Sustainable Development Agendas
Santiago, Chile. Photo Credit: Mauro Mora/Unsplash
story highlights

Chile's update NDC includes a social pillar that focuses on a just transition and the SDGs.

An ‘integration component’ emphasizes the role of oceans and coastal wetlands, circular economy, forests, peatlands, and ecosystems.

The update presents an increase in ambition to reach the Paris Agreement objective, in line with a path towards carbon neutrality by 2050 and peaking emissions by 2025.

Chile has submitted its updated nationally determined contribution (NDC) to the UNFCCC, following submission of its first NDC in 2015. Under the Paris Agreement on climate change, countries agreed to prepare and communicate an updated NDC every five years to reflect progress towards their climate objectives. Chile’s updated NDC, submitted on 9 April 2020, seeks to align international climate commitments with guidelines and instruments proposed under the country’s Climate Change Framework Bill. It also establishes intermediate adaptation and mitigation goals for 2030.

The updated NDC recognizes the importance of aligning the climate and sustainable development agendas. It includes an innovative social pillar that ties together mitigation, adaptation, and integration commitments, focusing on a just transition and the SDGs. As part of this component, Chile commits to guide implementation of its NDC actions based on: synergies with the SDGs, with each commitment contributing to the fulfillment of one or more SDG; just transition needs; water security; gender equity; nature-based solutions; inclusion of indigenous and other traditional knowledge; public participation; and cost efficiency.

Chile will establish a mechanism to measure, report, and verify that these criteria are applied. It intends to develop, by 2021, a ‘Strategy for Just Transition’ that protects the rights of the most vulnerable in decarbonizing the energy matrix. 

The update presents an increase in ambition to reach the Paris Agreement objective, in line with a path towards carbon neutrality by 2050 and consistent with what Chile promoted and highlighted during COP 25 in 2019. The updated NDC replaces the previous emission intensity indicator, with a GHG emissions level goal of 95 MtCO2eq by 2030, an emissions peak by 2025, and a carbon budget not exceeding 1,100 MtCO2eq for the period 2020-2030. In 2020, Chile will establish a public-private dialogue roundtable to define policy for the use of markets, taking into account guidelines that preserve environmental integrity, avoid double-counting, and promote sustainable development. 

Another new element in the updated NDC is the integration of climate and clean air policies, and the mitigation of short-lived climate pollutants (SLCPs). Chile commits to reduce total black carbon emissions by at least 25% by 2030.

On adaptation, the update establishes targets related to water management, sanitation, and disaster risk management (DRM), including the development of indicators to set regional and organizational-level water security goals, and water management at the watershed level. Specific contributions include:

  • updating existing studies and analysis on climate vulnerability and risk in Chile;
  • strengthening the inclusion of non-governmental actors in planning and implementing adaptation measures;
  • strengthening, by 2026, the current monitoring and evaluation system with indicators on adaptation;
  • enhancing information mechanisms for managing the climate impacts on water resources; and
  • strengthening capacity to adapt to climate-related risks and manage the effects of socio-natural disasters.

Chile’s updated NDC also highlights synergies between mitigation and adaptation actions through an “integration component” that emphasizes the role of oceans and coastal wetlands, circular economy, forests, peatlands, and ecosystems. This component details commitments that will be implemented in the 2020-2030 period, the delivery of which must also consider the unique circumstances and requirements arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Commitments include: developing a Circular Economy Roadmap for 2020 to 2040; developing a national organic waste strategy to increase the recovery of organic waste generated at the municipal level; and generating and implementing circularity metrics and indicators to monitor the country’s progress.

On forests, the updated NDC doubles the scale of Chile’s previous forest management and reforestation targets, and adds new forest degradation and landscape restoration commitments. It emphasizes: sustainably managing and restoring 200,000 hectares of native forests by 2030; reducing emissions from degradation and deforestation of native forest by 25% by 2030; and, by 2021, developing a national landscape restoration plan, which will incorporate 1,000,000 hectares into the restoration process.

The NDC addresses emissions from peatlands for the first time. It makes plans for creating a national inventory by 2025 and setting indicators for evaluating peatlands’ adaptation and mitigation capacity by 2030.
Explicitly integrating ocean protection in its NDC, Chile will: establish new protected areas in at least 10% of its under-represented marine ecoregions; protect at least 20 coastal wetlands by 2025 and at least ten additional ones by 2030; develop and implement management plans in all marine protected areas (MPAs) that were created before 2020; and strengthen mitigation and adaptation co-benefits of different ecosystems in MPAs.
On implementation measures, Chile will, in 2020:

  • develop a Strategy for Capacity Development and Climate Empowerment to strengthen the capacities of citizens and organizations to achieve national climate targets;
  • present its Climate Change Technology Transfer and Development Strategy; and
  • update its Financial Strategy on Climate Change to, inter alia, promote the design and implementation of financial green instruments.

The Marshall Islands, Suriname, Norway, Japan and Singapore have also submitted updated NDCs. [Chile’s Updated NDC] [NDC Registry] [UNFCCC Story] [Statement of Chilean Environment Minister Carolina Schmidt] [Minister Schmidt’s Presentation of the Updated NDC

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