Chile

Overall rating
Insufficient
Policies & action
Insufficient
< 3°C World
Internationally supported target
Almost Sufficient
< 2°C World
Fair share target
Insufficient
< 3°C World
Climate finance
Not assessed
Net zero target

year

2050

Comprehensiveness rated as

Acceptable
Land use & forestry

historically considered a

Sink

Historical emissions

Historical emissions from 1990 to 2019 were taken from the PRIMAP National Historical Greenhouse Gas Emissions Database (Gütschow, Günther and Pflüger, 2021). The data is provided in AR4.

LULUCF data for 1990-2018 is taken from the Greenhouse Gas Inventory in Chile’s Fourth Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC (Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, 2020).

NDC and other targets

No assumptions or calculation were made with respect to the unconditional NDC target for 2030 as it already included an absolute target for emissions excl. LULUCF. The NDC also included a peak year (2025) and an emissions budget (excl. LULUCF) for the period between 2020 and 2030. These numbers were taken directly into our calculations and no additional assumptions were needed.

For the new conditional target – a reduction of up to 45% in net emissions by 2030, compared to 2016 levels– we assumed that reductions from “net emissions” refers to economy-wide emissions incl. LULUCF. This translates into a target of 25.4 MtCO2e, incl. LULUCF, by 2030. Chile has not provided further details on the extent to which it will rely on LULUCF to meet the conditional target, thus we have developed a range based on the following assumptions:

  • For the lower end of the range, we assumed that the further emissions reductions needed to meet the conditional target, as compared to the unconditional target, will come from reductions in all sectors, except LULUCF. Thus, we assume the 45% reduction would come entirely from emissions excluding LULUCF. This translates into an 88 MtCO2e emissions level by 2030, excl. LULUCF. For the same year, LULUCF captures would stand at -62.7 MtCO2e.
  • For the upper end of the range, we assumed that the further emissions reductions needed to meet the conditional target as compared to the unconditional target will come entirely from removals in the LULUCF sector. This means, emissions excluding LULUCF by 2030 will remain at 95 MtCO2e (as in the unconditional target), while LULUCF captures will stand at -69.6 MtCO2e.

2020 pledge

The 2020 pledge did not state a reference pathway, but specifically states that it will be a reduction from Business-As-Usual (BAU) as projected in 2007. We have therefore calculated Chile’s 2020 pledge using as reference the 2007 BAU scenario from Boston Consulting Group (2013). This pathway closely resembles the 2007 BAU presented by Searle (2011) on behalf of the Chilean Government in the same context. This BAU scenario is reported in GWPs from the second assessment report (SAR). We have converted total emissions excl. LULUCF from this scenario to AR4 GWPs by using a factor estimated from Chile’s National Inventory System gas by gas inventory (Ministerio del Medio Ambiente del Gobierno de Chile, 2018). This reference scenario has not been harmonized to historical emissions.

Policies & action

Current policy projections have been harmonised to historical emissions up to 2019. The CAT 2020 estimates were assessed using a gas-by-gas method. Thereby, it is assumed that direct CO2 emissions from the industrial sector follow the 2020 GDP growth rate (IMF, 2021b), non-CO2 emissions from waste and agriculture follow a five-year historical trend and energy related CO2 emissions observe the growth rate in the Global Carbon Budget (Le Quéré et al., 2020). For energy emissions, however, the 2020 value from the recuperation scenario of the PELP was used as this already accounts impacts of COVID-19 (Ministerio de Energía, 2021g).

We estimated current policy projections using a variety of sources across the different sectors, as described below:

Agriculture and Waste

Emissions for agriculture and waste are taken from MAPS Chile (Línea Base 2013, PIB bajo) (Government of Chile, 2014). The base year of the MAPS Chile scenario is 2013, it is based on macroeconomic projections from 2013 (low case GDP growth, an average annual GDP growth of 3% through 2030) and includes implemented policies up until 2013.

Industrial processes

The Industrial Processes and Product Use sector is quantified by assuming a continuation of historical emissions trends from the inventory due to a lack of available national projections.

Energy

The energy sector projections are taken from the Mitigation Plan’s current implemented policies scenario (Ministerio de Energía, 2017b). The policies included in this scenario are the Unconventional Renewable Energy Law (Law 20.257/2008), the carbon tax (Law 20.780/2014), and the results of electricity supply tenders as of December 2017 (Ministerio de Energía, 2017b). We have additionally quantified and subtracted the potential emissions reduction from Chile’s Electromobility Strategy, the updated first-phase of Chile’s coal phase-out plan and the new Energy Efficiency Law (Law 21.305/2021) from the Mitigation Plan current policy scenario.

Potential emission reductions from the Electromobility Strategy are quantified by estimating a range of private electric vehicle market penetration and urban electric bus fleet renewal.

  • For Light Duty Vehicles, we estimated a range for Chile’s future fleet based on different projections for LDV development and EV market penetration. Emissions reductions were then estimated from the total amount of conventional vehicles that could be replaced by electric ones.
    • For the lower end, we assumed historical private vehicle fleet from the Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas (Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas de Chile, 2021), total vehicle fleet projections from the Agencia Chilena de Eficiencia Energética (EBP Chile, 2018), and LDV projections from the updated Climate’s EV policy impact assessment tool (NewClimate Institute, 2021), whose underlying data is largely taken form IEA’s latest EV Outlook (IEA, 2021a)
    • For the higher end, we linearly projected the LDV fleet by using the amount of electric vehicles expected by the government in 2050 (Ministerio de Energía, 2017a) and historical LDV fleet numbers from the IEA Global Outlook on EVs (IEA, 2021a) and from the Electromobility Platform launched by the government in April 2019 and repeatedly updated since (Ministerio de Energía, 2021h).
  • For the urban electric bus fleet, we first estimated a range of electric vehicle fleet projections based on different assumptions outlined below. We then assumed the emissions reductions by using different factors such as the vehicle use and the consumption factor from various sources (Directorio de Transporte Público Metropolitano; Ecoscore; Ministerio de Transportes y Telecomunicaciones Chile; E2BIZ Consultores, 2017; EBP Chile, 2018).
    • For the lower end, we used the projections for urban electric buses in Santiago from the Chilean Association of Electricity Suppliers (in Spanish: Asociación de Generadoras de Chile; referred to as “Suppliers”) (E2BIZ Consultores, 2017). We extrapolated the evolution of the national urban electric bus fleet from those local projections and used the conservative scenario’s growth rate of the Suppliers’ report, which corresponds to a Business-As-Usual scenario. We also assumed that the total national urban bus fleet would remain stable as of 2019 onward, as the Suppliers did for the TranSantiago bus fleet.
    • For the higher end of the range, we linearly interpolated the historical electric urban bus fleet numbers from the Electromobility Platform (Ministerio de Energía de Chile, 2019) and the expected amount of electric urban buses expected by the government in 2050 (i.e 100% of the urban bus fleet). The projection of the urban bus fleet in 2030 was obtained by using the historical urban bus fleet from the Sub-secretary of Transport (Subsecretaría de Transportes) and extrapolated it to 2030 applying the population growth as a proxy.

The maximum emission reduction potential assumes that the electricity demand from electric LDVs and electric buses will be met by renewable sources. The minimum emission reduction potential assumes that the electricity demand will be met by increasing electricity generation from the grid using the same mix as in CAT current policy scenario.

Emissions reductions from the first stage of Chile’s coal phase-out plan were estimated using the chronogram published on the website and report on coal-phase out by the Ministry of Energy (Ministerio de Energía, 2020c, 2021b). We first estimated electricity generation from those plants using capacity factors from an Inodú (2018) study prepared for the Ministry of Energy. We then estimated an average emission factor from coal-fired power plants in Chile between 2010 and 2019 from IEA data (IEA, 2021b). Finally, we estimated emission reductions by multiplying the replaced electricity generation per year by the average emission factor assuming that this electricity generation would be replaced by non-conventional renewable energy sources as specified by Chile’s Ministry of Energy. The upper end of the range assumes that electricity generation from retiring coal-fired power plants will be replaced by gas-fired power plants. For this we estimated an average emissions factor from plans in Chile between 2010 and 2016 using data from the IEA (IEA, 2021b) .

Due to the wide scope covering different sectors, the emissions reductions from the new Energy Efficiency Law (Law 21.305/2021) were assessed in a simplified manner, taking into account the expected 28.6 MtCO2e emission savings until 2030 (Ministerio de Energía, 2021d) and assuming a linear reduction. 37% of this reduction comes from the transport sector (10.6 MtCO2e) (Ministerio de Energía, 2021e) but it was unclear to us which part of these reduction are covered by our calculations in the EV strategy. As these 28.6 MtCO2e seem very large and detailed measures on achieving them remain vague, we omitted the reductions from the transport sector for the current policy scenario and instead only accounted for the aforementioned calculations of the electromobility strategy. As such, we expected a reduction of 18 MtCO2e over 10 years, thus a yearly reduction of 1.8 MtCO2e.

Some policy developments such as the update on the Distributed Generation Law (also referred to as the “Net Billing” Law) (Law 20.571), which triples the capacity threshold for installed capacity for projects of self-consumption, are not quantified due to lack of available data.

Planned policy projections

Planned policy projections have been harmonized to historical emissions up to 2019.

Additional to the current implemented policies scenario, Chile’s Mitigation Plan includes a scenario which is aligned to the 2050 Energy Strategy. We have added and adapted this scenario to develop our planned policy scenario. This scenario includes the targets of electricity generation from renewable energy of at least 60% by 2035 and 70% by 2050. Additionally, we have quantified and subtracted emissions reductions from the electromobility strategy using the same methodology as in the current policy scenario. We have also included the same emission reductions through coal-phase out but have added the retirement of another three plants in 2025, which have been announced but not confirmed, and we have assumed a linear retirement of coal-fired electricity generation until 2040. The upper end assumes that this generation will be supplied by gas, while the lower end assumes that the electricity generation from coal will be met by renewable energy sources. Unlike with the current policy scenario, we have kept the transport-related emission reduction from the energy efficiency law but have subtracted 6.1 MtCO2 from the total 28.1 as this amount of reduction through energy efficiency measures is already included in Chile’s Mitigation Plan.

COVID-19 impact

We applied a novel method to estimate the COVID-19 related dip in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 and its impact until 2030. The uncertainty surrounding the severity and length of the pandemic creates a new level of uncertainty for current and future greenhouse gas emissions. We first update the current policy projections based on the most recent developments, before the pandemic. We then distil the emission intensity (GHG emissions/GDP) from this pre-pandemic scenario and applied it to the most recent GDP projections that take into account the effect of the pandemic.

We used GDP projections from the IMF and Banco Central de Chile. The IMF scenario, which projects a GDP decrease of 5.8% in 2020 and an increase of 6.1% in 2021 was used to create the lower bound of our current policy projections, while the ‘GDP high growth’ scenario from Banco Central de Chile projected a 5.8% decrease in 2020 and a 9.5% increase in 2021 and was used to create the upper bound (Banco Central, 2021; IMF, 2021a). GDP projections from the OECD and the Banco Central de Chile ‘GDP low growth’ scenario were also considered, but fall within this range and as a result were not incorporated into our analysis (Banco Central, 2021; OECD, 2021)

We derived GDP estimates for the period 2022 to 2030 from the growth rates in the original pre-pandemic current policy scenario.

Global Warming Potentials values

The CAT uses Global Warming Potential (GWP) values from the IPCC's Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) for all its figures and time series. Assessments completed prior to December 2018 (COP24) used GWP values from the Second Assessment Report (SAR).

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