Chile - National planning on short-lived climate pollutants

CCAC Funded
Implementing partners

As a partner in the Climate and Clean Air Coalition’s SNAP Initiative, Chile has taken ambitious action to address climate change and air pollution together. In 2020, recognising the need for all countries to take drastic action on to mitigation climate change, Chile submitted their revised Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and pledged a goal of greenhouse gas neutrality by 2050. As the result of support from the SNAP Initiative, Chile's revised NDC also included a target to reduce black carbon emissions by 25% by 2030 compared to 2016 levels. At the local level, Chile has also taken significant action to reduce PM2.5 emissions from the household energy sector.  

Home to over 18 million people, the South American country of Chile is increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, including extreme weather events, natural disasters and depleting food security. At the same time, air pollution which exceeds World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines remains a significant threat to the health of people, particularly in urban centres. It is estimated that every year air pollution costs the health sector in Chile at least $670 million and is the root cause of 127,000 emergency health consultations as well as more than 4,000 premature deaths. These impacts are likely to increase with projected economic and population growth. 


The SNAP Initiative has provided technical assistance and funding with the objective of supporting Chile’s national planning process on short-lived climate pollutants and to: 

  • Strengthen coordination and action on short-lived climate pollutants 
  • Identify major emission sources, their likely evolution and mitigation potential 
  • Assess the co-benefits of action 
  • Prioritise the most relevant measures at national scale 
  • Identify ways to promote and implement these mitigation measures 
  • Incorporate short-lived climate pollutants into existing plans and activities where they are not currently considered 

What we're doing

Phase I – Institutional Strengthening – Complete 

Chile became a partner of the SNAP initiative in May of 2015 after expressing interest to receive institutional strengthening support along with 13 other selected countries. As a result, a Cooperation Agreement was signed between the Center for Climate and Resilience Research (CR2) of the University of Chile and the CCAC Secretariat. The objective of this support was to enhance the ability of government institutions to coordinate and scale up SLCP mitigation activities at the national level, embed SLCPs into relevant national planning processes, and sustainably increase dedicated financial resources.  

Over a two-year period, technical workshops organised in collaboration with the SNAP Initiative and the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) helped to identify the co-benefits of mitigating SLCPs, develop SLCP emission analysis capacity, and to determine relevant priority actions. As a result, an initial SLCP emission analysis evaluating residential and electromobility strategies in Chile was developed.  

Phase II – National SLCP Planning – Complete  

The institutional strengthening activities were complemented by further national planning support from the SNAP Initiative starting in 2017. The objective of this phase of the SNAP project was to identify the ways in which black carbon mitigation could be included in Chile’s revised NDC. This task was entrusted to a technical team of the CR2 unit at the University of Chile, which conducted an analysis of the mitigation measures in Chile’s first NDC and produced in May of 2019 a series of recommendations for the NDC revision. Following several consultations, in 2020 a second report entitled “Black carbon mitigation in Chile's updated Nationally Determined Contribution” was published. It proposed and justified a quantified black carbon (BC) reduction target, integrable and consistent with the greenhouse gas reduction target. As a result of these efforts, Chile’s revised NDC includes a target to reduce black carbon emissions by 25% by 2030 compared to 2016 levels.  

Phase III – Inclusion of black carbon in long-term climate planning – Complete

In 2020 Chile submitted its updated NDC that set a quantitative target to reduce black carbon emissions by 25% in 2030 compared to 2016 levels. To build on this new, quantitative black carbon target, the Ministry of Environment in Chile submitted a CCAC Action Programme request for assistance to i) update the national black carbon emissions inventory to allow progress on black carbon emissions to be sustainably tracked during the NDC implementation period, and ii) to integrate black carbon into Chile’s long-term strategy to provide a roadmap for how the black carbon target included in the NDC could actually be implemented. A national consultant was recruited to achieve these two activities. The key outputs from this project are the inclusion of a chapter on black carbon in Chile’s long-term strategy, which was submitted to the UNFCCC on 3rd November 2021 during COP26. The long-term strategy builds on the NDC black carbon reduction target by specifying specific mitigation measures which will achieve the emission reductions. These measures include: 

  • Increasing the percentage of households using district heating instead of biomass for heating
  • Decarbonisation of the energy matrix and increasing the amount of electricity generated from renewable energies.
  • Implementing emission standards for off-road machinery
  • Switching to clean fuels (hydrogen and electricity for industrial applications)
  • Increasing the percentage of hydrogen and electricity vehicles in the vehicle fleet. 

The long-term strategy highlights the actions that Chile has already taken to reduce black carbon emissions, such as the introduction of Euro 6 standards for vehicles. The mechanisms for tracking progress on achieving the black carbon reductions in Chile’s NDC are also outlined, and include the national black carbon emission inventory, which will be regularly updated to assess progress and verify compliance with black carbon reduction commitments. They include also Chile’s national air quality monitoring system and instruments to monitor black carbon which can assess long-term trends in black carbon concentrations in the atmosphere.