From committing to clean energy generation and more sustainable public transport, to reducing plastic waste, Chile is leading the region in initiatives to protect the environment.
Escazú Agreement: In late May 2022, the Chilean Senate approved the country’s integration into the Escazú Agreement, which seeks to change the environmental institutional framework and adapt it to the climatic, water, social, economic and cultural situation of different territories. This is the first Latin American agreement on environmental issues, and joins other efforts that Chile is promoting in this area.
Turquoise Foreign Policy: The Turquoise Foreign Policy includes various objectives and priorities that position Chile as an important stakeholder in mitigating climate change and protecting the ocean and ecosystems, with special emphasis on moving towards a more sustainable development model. This public policy also includes the creation of a Climate Change Observatory, an entity that is currently collecting information on the climate crisis and making it available to the international community.
Carbon Neutral by 2050: Chile has committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. This means that its greenhouse gas emissions, which are responsible for climate change, will be equal to or less than the absorption of said gases by nature. One of the main approaches to meeting this goal is to move towards a clean energy matrix and leave fossil fuels in the past. To do so, Chile aims to progressively close coal-fired power plants and increase the construction of non-conventional renewable energy plants.
Chile’s privileged geography means the country now possesses Cerro Dominador, Latin America’s first solar thermal plant. Furthermore, Horizonte, which is currently under construction, will become the region’s largest wind farm. Similarly, our country’s first green hydrogen plant, Haru Oni, produced the first liters of synthetic fuel in December 2022. These are three examples of how our country is making progress in caring for the environment and improving people’s quality of life.
Green Hydrogen Development: As a result of collaborative work between the industry, academia, civil society and the public sector, the National Green Hydrogen Strategy was published in November 2022. It is an essential part of the carbon neutrality plan and Chile’s commitment to sustainable development.
The strategy aims to develop and export clean synthetic fuel and its derivatives as part of a state policy. In 2023, this was complemented by implementation of the Green Hydrogen Action Plan 2023-2030, which deepens and expands this key roadmap for the country’s sustainable economic development.
Chile as diplomatic stakeholder in climate negotiations: Chile is making the most of its progressive renewable energy credentials to consolidate itself as a major diplomatic player in international climate negotiations. The country co-sponsored the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, COP25, in Madrid in December 2019, hosted the Clean Energy Ministerial Conference in December 2022 and launched the “Americas for the Protection of the Ocean” coalition at the Ninth Summit of the Americas in June 2022.
Electromobility: Chile is committed to sustainable public transport. In November 2022, the Transport Ministry announced that Santiago already possesses 809 electric buses, and it is expected that, by mid-2023, its electric fleet will number 2,000. This will make it the city with the largest number of vehicles of this type in Latin America, and one of the most numerous in the world, surpassed only by Chinese cities.
Ocean Protection: Chile currently has ten parks and five marine reserves, which translates into nearly 1,500,000 km2 of officially-protected area. This figure represents more than 40% of the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), something that has earned our country the recognition of the international community. In addition, Chile maintains a series of international alliances focused on protecting the oceans. Among them are the International Alliance to Combat Ocean Acidification, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and promotion of international projects that give greater protection to the world’s oceans.
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Climate Change Framework Law: The law institutionalizes the fight against climate change as a state policy, which implies that an ecological approach is integrated into the decisions of all of Chile’s ministries. It establishes a national goal for the country to be carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest, which will be reviewed every five years to determine if progress is being made towards the objective. It also establishes the goal for Chile to become climate resilient, and capable of adapting to the effects of climate change throughout the national territory. It thus aims for a form of development that takes care of nature.
Chileans committed to the environmental crisis: Chile’s energy transition has been widely supported by parties from across the political spectrum and endorsed by the public. 91% of Chileans believe that climate change should be treated as a government priority, according to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Commitment in the eyes of the world: Chile has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to environmental protection, as evidenced by its excellent evaluations in various international rankings. The Climate Change Performance Index 2023 ranks our country first in Latin America, and we are surpassed only by Denmark and Sweden globally. In the 2022 version of the report, Chile also ranked first in Latin America and sixth globally. Furthermore, Chile ranked third in Latin America in the prestigious MIT Green Future Index 2022. These achievements are evidence of the significant efforts that Chile is making to address climate change and promote a greener and more sustainable future.
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