About

Chile is a leader on a variety of Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) initiatives, all of which are working to realize the multiple benefits of merging global efforts on climate and clean air. One of the most consequential outcomes of this collaboration is Chile’s work with the CCAC Action Programme to include Black Carbon mitigation in their long-term development strategy. These efforts resulted in Chile becoming one of the few countries to include Black Carbon in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), or their global climate change commitments.

“We must put people first when it comes to climate change. Climate action is not about cost it is about opportunities to make a better life,” said Chile’s Minister of Environment Carolina Schmidt at a CCAC high-level assembly. “We wait for all of you in Chile because now it is time for action.”

Schmidt added that because Chile knows there is a strong link between air pollution and climate action, the city of Santiago currently has the second largest fleet of electric buses in the world after China. In multiple cities Chileans are actively choosing to use electric transportation over other modes of travel.

Chile and Japan's Ministers of Environment, Carolina Schmidt and Shinjiro Koizumi, attend the CCAC's 2019 High Level Assembly

Schmidt is preceded by a strong political legacy of action on air pollution. The former Minister of Environment, Marcelo Mena, was a co-chair of the CCAC from 2015-2017 and was awarded a 2017 Climate and Clean Air Awards Winner for his work to reduce short-lived climate pollutants and air pollution in Chile. Under his leadership, Chile created the “Plans of Prevention and Decontamination of Atmospheric Pollution,” which has led to significant reductions in air pollution. He helped facilitate 20 decontamination plans by the end of 2018, which helped achieve a reduction of particulate matter (PM 2.5) in 14 cities—including a 71 percent decrease in Santiago.

The CCAC’s "Supporting National Action and Planning on short-lived climate pollutants" (SNAP) Initiative also worked with a team at the University of Chile to evaluate the mitigation potential of black carbon emissions interventions. This resulted in a 2019 report outlining a series of recommendations for revising their NDC. After multiple consultations, a second report titled “Black carbon mitigation in Chile's updated Nationally Determined Contribution” was published in 2020. This report set a black carbon reduction target that was consistent with the greenhouse gas reduction target. As a result of these efforts, Chile made the impressive decision in 2020 to increase the aspirations of their NDC, including by stepping up their black carbon mitigation by 25 percent by 2030. In this, they served as an example to countries around the world that NDC’s can be a starting point instead of an ending point.

Chile has also led on Hydrofluorocarbons (HFC) mitigation by partnering with the CCAC to pioneer effective and environmentally friendly alternatives. In 2017, Jumbo Supermarket in the city of Valdivia became the first in the country to install transcritical carbon dioxide refrigeration, an alternative to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), through a CCAC-funded technology demonstration. This key project helped show that effective alternatives exist for countries like Chile with high ambient temperatures. This information served as important proof, particularly during the Kigali Amendment negotiations. As a result of the success of this demonstration, nine supermarkets and five food processing factories in Chile now also use the technology.

CCAC Activities

Activity | Household Energy
Ongoing
“Burn Right” is an awareness campaign launched in Sweden and Chile, along with a global online platform sponsored by the Coalition. It asks woodstove users to follow a few simple steps when burning...
Workstream | HFC
Ongoing
HFCs have a wide range of uses, including in foams, refrigeration, and aerosols, and manufacturers tend to use well-known existing technology solutions that currently are not as climate-friendly as...

Other activities

International Activities

  • From 2012-2017, the Low Emission Capacity Building Project (LECB-Chile), which was part of a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) initiative in 25 countries, helped create public and private capacities for measurement and mitigation of greenhouse gases. This work led to the implementation of the HuellaChile Program and the Climate Public Expenditure Review.
  • In 2016, during COP22, Canada contributed $10.7 million to reduce SLCPs through bilateral alliances with Chile and Mexico. This project was implemented through the current Agreement on Environmental Cooperation where Canada and Chile established four lines of action including reducing methane emissions through technology deployment in at least seven cities, developing a measurable and verifiable system for reductions, as well as leveraging public and private financing,

National Climate Actions

  • In 2017, Chile adopted the National Action Plan on Climate Change for 2017-2022, addressing both adaptation and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Chile’s 2015 Energy Policy outlines plans for a reliable, sustainable, inclusive, and competitive energy sector with targets of 60 percent renewable electricity by 2035 and 70 percent by 2050.
  • The 2018-2022 Energy Road Map sets priorities for the next four years of work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through increased energy efficiency, transportation, energy development, and energy education and training.
  • In 2017, Chile ratified the Paris Agreement.
  • In 2020, the Chilean government unveiled the Draft Framework Law on Change Climate which assigns specific responsibilities for furthering climate change mitigation and adaptation while promoting sustainable development that balances environmental and economic interests.
  • In 2012, Chile joined the Independent Association of Latin America and the Caribbean (AILAC), a group of eight countries united on climate change and committed to generating coordinated, ambitious positions in multilateral climate change negotiations.

Air Quality

  • In 2017, the cities of Chiguayante, Hualqui, Concepción joined BreatheLife. Concepción launched a pollution monitoring system and is focusing on clean energy, improved management of household waste, and green transportation. Hualqui installed local air quality monitoring stations to fight pollution and track local progress.
  • In 2017, the city of Talca joined with a focus on reducing pollution from wood fires used for winter heating and implementing special restrictions on emissions during periods of especially poor air quality. These efforts have resulted in a reduction of “emergency” level air quality hours of 199 in 2013 to just 5 in 2016.
  • In 2016, Santiago joined BreatheLife and started work implementing newer heating systems, improving the mass transit fleet, and practicing more efficient waste management.
  • In 2017, Chile began applying green taxes on stationary emissions sources, including of particulate matter to reduce local atmospheric pollution at low cost.
  • In 2017, Decree No 1 approving Regulation of the Registry of Emissions and Transfers of Pollutants created a publicly accessible database on emissions, waste, and transfers of contaminants potentially harmful to humans and the environment.

Household Energy

  • In 2014, Chile launched a program to replace 200,000 firewood heaters with more energy efficient ones in response to the fact that 94 percent of fine particulate matter contributing to smog from was from firewood burning.

Transportation

  • In 2018, the National Strategy for Electromobility set out priority actions for promoting electric vehicles in Chile.
  • In 2018, Chile rolled out its first 100-Strong electric bus fleet. The city of Santiago
  • partnered with Zero Emission Bus Rapid-deployment Accelerator (ZEBRA) with the goal of deploying 2,000 electric buses by 2025.
  • In 2017, the Regional Strategic Program Santiago Smart City included a Freight Transportation Observatory as a technology tool for systematic and permanent collection of data on urban transportation systems in the Metro Region and a consortium for Electromobility which seeks to define and implement a strategy for electric mobility in Santiago.
  • In 2017, the Transforma Logistics Program was launched. This Certification and Validation System for Energy Efficiency and Competitiveness in Road Cargo Transportation was launched to achieve energy and cost savings by reducing fuel consumption, improved efficiency in freight transportation, and decreasing greenhouse emissions and SLCPs.
  • In 2013, Chile's fuel economy label became the first mandatory scheme of its kind in Latin America.
  • In 2014, Chile approved a tax reform that included a fuel consumption fee and energy efficiency label mandates.
  • In 2015, the Green Tax for New Motor Vehicles was levied on new, diesel-powered light vehicles.
  • In 2014, the Smart Cities Strategy 2014-2020 was launched to improve local and municipal service delivery by introducing open innovation and ICT tools which laid a framework for sustainable innovation ecosystem in the Gran Concepcion metropolitan area.

Agriculture

Energy Efficiency and HFCs

Waste

  • In 2016, Law 20,920 laid out a framework for waste management that extended producer responsibility and promoted recycling by obliging certain manufacturers and importers to collect and value a percentage of their products.
  • In 2020, Decree #8 outlined the procedures to prevent waste generation or encourage their recovery as well as for setting targets and other related duties. As of 2018, two drafts are in development, which both set goals for the collection and recovery of containers, packaging and tires.
  • From 2017-2021, Reciclo Organicos (Organics recycling) programme, a bilateral agreement between Canada and Chile, will help Chile build capacity and give technical assistance to reduce emissions and divert organic waste from landfills.
  • The 2017 National Action Plan for Sustainable Consumption and Production is a strategic vision for creating a low-carbon economy.
  • Starting in 2018 and continuing through 2030, Chile is working on energy recovery of organic waste to mitigate methane emissions with waste incineration and energy recovery, pyrolysis, gasification, and anaerobic digestion.

Climate Finance
   

  • The Chilean Green Investment Platform mobilize investments in low-carbon technologies and climate change resilience.
  • In 2014, the Partnership for Market Readiness started providing financial and technical resources for green taxes and potentially new instrument choices for carbon pricing to contribute to cost-effective national mitigation commitments.
  • In 2017, the first ever green taxes were implemented to support efforts to decrease the local air pollution and mitigate greenhouse gases in a cost-efficient manner.

Related resources

2017 | Awareness Materials
, Ministry of Environment, Chile

A Spanish language public awareness brochure that explains the impacts of air pollution on health and the environment, its sources and impacts and the action of the government of Chile to...

Address

Ministry of Environment, Teatinos 254/258
Santiago
Chile
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