Net zero targets
We evaluate the net zero target as: Acceptable.
Chile announced its net zero target for 2050 as proposed legislation in the Framework Law on Climate Change in 2020 (President of Chile, 2020) and include it in the updated NDC submitted to the UNFCCC in the same year (Government of Chile, 2020b). As of October 2021 the law currently remains under discussion in the National Congress. Once accepted, the law will enshrine Chile’s net zero target into law.
Chile’s net zero target covers most key elements. It covers all sectors and gases, communicates strategic goals and emissions targets per sector, and provides a detailed methodological framework. Notably, Chile underpins these sector-specific ambitions with detailed emissions pathway analysis. While Chile does not actively outline any plans reply on reductions and removals outside its borders, future iteration of its NDC could explicitly rule out international credits.
Chile could further improve its net zero target by considering good practice standards for a few elements. Chile provides no information on its intention to establish a periodic reviewing cycle of measures and interim targets, and it remains unclear whether a legally binding review cycle exists. In addition, Chile could further include international aviation and shipping in its target’s scope, and explicitly elaborate on fairness considerations.
Ten key elements
- Target year – Chile aims to reach net zero by 2050 (President of Chile, 2020)
- Emissions coverage – The target covers all GHG emissions (i.e., the 7 Kyoto gases: CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6, NF3) and all sectors of the economy (excluding international bunkers) (President of Chile, 2020).
- International aviation and shipping – Chile provides no information on its intention to cover international aviation and shipping.
- Reductions or removals outside of own borders – Chile plans to reach net zero through domestic actions and will not use removals outside its borders. Neither Chile’s NDC nor its underlying pathways towards 2050 consider any reductions and removals outside of Chile’s territory(Government of Chile, 2020a; Ministerio de Energía, 2020b)
- Legal status – President Sebastian Piñera first announced Chile’s net zero target in June 2019. In early 2020, Chile’s President proposed a Framework Law on Climate Change (Ley Marco de Cambio Climatico) partly aiming to make the net zero target legally binding. The law currently remains under discussion in the National Congress as of June 2021. Chile reiterated its net zero target as part of its updated NDC submitted to the UNFCCC in April 2020 (Government of Chile, 2020b). Chile has not yet submitted an LTS to the UNFCCC as of October 2021, but has announced its planns to submit one in November 2021.
- Separate reduction & removal targets – Chile provides separate emission reduction and removal targets by specifying the contribution of LULUCF in 2030 and 2050. (Government of Chile, 2020b; Ministerio de Energía, 2020b)
- Review process – Chile is currently in the process of establishing a review cycle. It plans to indirectly track net zero targets by tracking progress on sectoral targets within the long-term climate strategy, NDC implementation, sectoral mitigation plans and regional climate action plans (Ministerio de Energía, 2020b).
- Carbon dioxide removal – Chile provides transparent pathways for carbon dioxide removal domestic LULUCF sinks through 2050 and assumes no technical carbon removals and storage in the timeframe up to 2050 (Ministerio de Energía, 2020b)
- Comprehensive planning – Chile provides intermediate carbon budgets as well as sector specific targets in their NDC. The NDC provides several carbon neutrality scenarios per sector and highlights the necessary measures, such as reaching a 58% share of electric vehicles among private and commercial vehicles by 2050, renewable energy systems replacing thermal power stations, and public and commercial electric heating. The strategy also establishes an emissions peak no later than 2025 and sets a maximum for cumulative emissions from 2020-2030 (Government of Chile, 2020b). The NDC further defines clear visions for 2030 and 2050 and Chile provides detailed pathway analyses (Ministerio de Energía, 2020b).
- Clarity on fairness of target – the Chilean government does not explain why its net zero target is a fair contribution to the global goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. However, the proposed Framework Law on Climate Change refers to the importance of equity on the national level. The law provides that it is “the duty of the State to ensure a fair allocation of burdens, costs and benefits, with a gender focus and special emphasis on sectors, communities and ecosystems vulnerable to climate change.” (President of Chile, 2020).
The Climate Action Tracker has defined the following good practice for all ten key elements of net zero targets. Countries can refer to this good practice to design or enhance their net zero targets.