Considered one of the most important treaties within the international actions to combat the climate crisis, the Paris Agreement succeeded for the first time in committing almost all the countries of the world to the common cause of containing the increase in global average temperature to below 2ºC by the end of the century. One of the committed states was Chile, which, after signing the agreement in 2017, has promoted different actions in pursuit of contributing to this common goal. The following are some of the actions that our country has promoted under the Paris Agreement.
Framework Law on Climate Change
On June 13, 2022, the Framework Law on Climate Change came into force, a historic regulation that establishes the goal of making Chile carbon neutral and climate resilient by 2050 at the latest, a date that could even be brought forward if circumstances permit, as it will be reviewed every five years. In addition, to address climate change, it sets up concrete actions for 17 ministries.
In this way, our country became the first developing country to subscribe to carbon neutrality by law, an action that turns environmental policies into a State issue, committing future governments to this cause.
Protecting the oceans: the lungs of the planet
While it is often thought that vast forest areas, such as the Amazon, are primarily responsible for oxygen production, this is not entirely correct. While they are critical to the planet, 50% of the oxygen we breathe is produced by the oceans. With 10 parks and 5 marine reserves, today Chile is positioned as the country in the region with the largest protected marine area, which translates into 6,435 km of coastline and about 1,500,000 km2 of protected marine areas. This action has earned us the recognition of the international community, in part for being one of the signatory States of the 2030 Agenda that has shown the greatest compliance in this area.
COP27 and commitment to address the climate crisis
In the framework of the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference in 2022 (COP27), the Minister of the Environment, Maisa Rojas, presented an extension of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) announced by Chile in 2020. The announcement at that time stipulated 17 goals and 169 targets, with which Chile committed to reduce CO2 emissions, in addition to the creation of a “carbon budget” of 1,100 Mt and to reach a maximum emissions peak. The new extension considers increasing the country’s protected areas by more than one million hectares, as well as reversing the growing trend of national methane emissions by 2025.
Chile as a climate change sensor
Although our country is not among those with the greatest impact on the increase of climate change on the planet, our geographical characteristics make us highly vulnerable to the consequences of the phenomenon, with consequences ranging from water crisis, rising temperatures, melting glaciers, among others.
This sensitivity allows that today our country is the ideal scenario to monitor the effects that this crisis is causing in the environment, which is why the Ministry of Science and Technology, together with the Ministries of Environment and Foreign Affairs, launched in 2022 the Climate Change Observatory (OCC), an integrated network with more than 30 sets of data extracted from monitoring stations of various public and private institutions, ranging from the desert, the central valleys, mountains, national forests, Patagonia and the Antarctic territory. Currently the information collected by this sensor network is open, and includes standardized information on water, oceans, atmosphere, and cryosphere, among other subjects, which are available at occ.minciencia.gob.cl.
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