Historical emissions from 1990 to 2016 were taken from Chile’s Third Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC (Ministerio del Medio Ambiente, 2018).
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.
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.
Current policy projections
Current policy projections have been harmonized to historical emissions up to 2016.
We estimated pre-COVID-19 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.
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.
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 as well as the recently announced first-phase of Chile’s coal phase-out plan 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), total vehicle fleet projections from the Agencia Chilena de Eficiencia Energética (EBP Chile, 2018), and LDV projections from New Climate’s EV policy impact assessment tool (NewClimate Institute, 2018).
- 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, 2018b) and from the Electromobility Platform launched by the government in April 2019 (Ministerio de Energía de Chile, 2019b).
- 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, 2019b) 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 by the Ministry of Energy (Ministerio de Energía, 2019). 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 2016 from IEA data (IEA, 2018c, 2018a). 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 (2018c, 2018a) .
Some newer 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 (if relevant)
Planned policy projections have been harmonized to historical emissions up to 2016.
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 pre-COVID-19 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 and the first and second stages of Chile’s coal phase-out plan. For the later we have assumed a linear retirement of coal-fired electricity generation. 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.
Our analysis estimates that by implementing policies from the planned policies scenario presented on the Mitigation Plan, Chile could reach (and perhaps overachieve) their new unconditional NDC target for 2030. Further, Chile could peak its emissions in 2023 ─two years earlier than the proposed peak year in the NDC─ and use a carbon budget 6-17% lower than the carbon budget proposed in the updated NDC for the period between 2020 and 2030.
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 OECD and Banco Central de Chile. The OECD ‘double-hit’ scenario, which projects a GDP decrease of 7.1% in 2020 and an increase of 1.9% in 2021 was used to create the lower bound of our current policy projections, while the ‘GDP low growth’ scenario from Banco Central de Chile projected a 1.5% decrease in 2020 and a 4.75% increase in 2021 and was used to create the upper bound (Banco Central de Chile, 2020; OECD, 2020a). GDP projections from the IMF and the OECD Single Hit Scenario were also considered, but fall within this range and as a result were not incorporated into our analysis (International Monetary Fund, 2020; OECD, 2020b)
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).