Chile

Overall rating
Insufficient
Policies & action
Almost Sufficient
< 2°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

Target Overview

Chile’s submitted its updated 2020 NDC to the UNFCCC in April 2020 (Government of Chile, 2020a). It includes two 2030 emissions reduction targets: an absolute unconditional target of 95 MtCO2e or a budget of 1,100 MtCO2 (2020-2030) and an emissions reduction target of up to 45% net GHG emissions conditional on international finance. With the approval of the Climate Change Framework Law in June 2020, this target is legally binding.

Chile also announced a net zero GHG target for 2050 which was enshrined in law in June 2022 with the passing of the Framework Law on Climate Change (Congreso Nacional de Chile, 2022) .

CHILE — Main climate targets
2030 unconditional NDC target
Formulation of target in NDC Chile commits to a GHG emission budget not exceeding 1,100 MtCO2e between 2020 and 2030, with a GHG emissions maximum (peak) by 2025, and a GHG emissions level of 95 MtCO2e by 2030.
Absolute emissions level in 2030 
excl. LULUCF
Level of emissions to be achieved at home (domestic target component)
95 MtCO2e
[90% above 1990]
[7% above 2010]
Status Submitted in April 2020
2030 conditional NDC target
Formulation of target in NDC In addition, under certain specific conditions (financial, markets, technological and political) Chile could exceed a 30% reduction, potentially with a reduction of up to 45% in net emissions by 2030, taking into account actions for GHG emissions mitigation and/or capture.
Absolute emissions level in 2030 
excl. LULUCF
90 MtCO2e to 95 MtCO2e
[80%-90% above 1990]
[1%-7% above 2010]
Status Submitted in April 2020
Net zero & other long-term targets
Formulation of target Mitigation Goal: By the year 2050 at the latest neutrality of greenhouse gas emissions shall be achieved.
Absolute emissions level in 2050 
excl. LULUCF
0 MtCO2e
Status Submitted in June 2022

NDC updates

On 9 April 2020, the Chilean Government officially submitted its updated NDC (Government of Chile, 2020a), which is more ambitious than its first NDC submitted to the UNFCCC in 2017 and also slightly more ambitious than an earlier 2019 draft NDC. However, its projected emissions still fall in the ‘Insufficient’ CAT range. Chile needs to go even further if it aims to become compatible with the 1.5° temperature limit.

According to our calculations, by implementing all its current policies, Chile has already peaked its emissions ahead of the proposed peak year of 2025 ─ which would be a remarkable achievement and makes the country a frontrunner in climate action. Under this scenario, the GHG emissions budget between 2020 and 2030 would be in line with the GHG emissions budget of 1,100 presented in the 2020 NDC, ranging between 977 MtCO2e and 1,082 MtCO2e.

The updated NDC is stronger in various ways:

  • It has a target of 95 MtCO2e in 2030, which is 2 MtCO2e lower than the 2019 draft NDC and significantly lower than the emissions that would have resulted from the 2017 unconditional target (131 MtCO2e);
  • It includes an updated goal to peak GHG emissions by 2025, two years earlier than the previous draft;
  • It includes an updated GHG emissions budget to 2030, which is smaller than the original draft.

Chile’s former Minister of the Environment, Carolina Schmidt, stated that ‘once the country overcomes the corona crisis, they will enter a rehabilitation phase which must be sustainable’, highlighting that the Chilean government recognises the importance of green economic recovery packages (John Bartlett, 2020). It is expected that smaller updates will be published at COP27.

CHILE — History of NDC updates First NDC (2017) NDC update (2020)
1.5°C compatible

Stronger target N/A
Economy-wide coverage

Fixed/absolute target


CHILE First NDC (2017) NDC update (2020)
Formulation of target in NDC Unconditional target:
30% below 2007 GHG intensity of GDP by 2030.

Conditional target:
30–45% below 2007 intensity of GDP.
Unconditional target:
GHG emission budget not exceeding 1,100 MtCO2e between 2020 and 2030, with a GHG emissions maximum (peak) by 2025, and a GHG emissions level of 95 MtCO2e by 2030.

Conditional target:
Up to 45% net GHG emissions by 2030 from 2016 levels
Absolute emissions level
excl. LULUCF
Unconditional target:
131 MtCO2e by 2030

Conditional target:
103–122 MtCO2e by 2030
Unconditional target:
95 MtCO2e by 2030

Conditional target:
90–95 MtCO2e by 2030
Emissions compared to 1990 and 2010
excl. LULUCF
Unconditional target:
163% above 1990 emissions by 2030
48% above 2010 emissions by 2030

Conditional target:
107%–145% above 1990 emissions by 2030
16%–37% above 2010 emissions by 2030
Unconditional target:
90% above 1990 emissions by 2030
7% above 2010 emissions by 2030

Conditional target:
80%–90% above 1990 emissions by 2030
1%–7% above 2010 emissions by 2030
CAT rating Overall rating:
Highly Insufficient
Conditional target against modelled domestic pathways:
Almost Sufficient

Unconditional target against fair share:
Insufficient
Sector coverage Economy-wide, excl. LULUCF Economy-wide, excl. LULUCF
Separate target for LULUCF Yes

Separate target from rest of emissions: management and recovery of 100.000 hectares and reforestation of 100,000 hectares of forest by 2030.
Yes

Separate target from rest of emissions: management and recovery of 200,000 hectares by 2030, reforestation of 200,000 hectares of forest by 2030, and reducing emissions from deforestation and land degradation by 25% by 2030 from the emissions average 2001-2013.
Gas coverage All greenhouse gases All greenhouse gases and black carbon separately
Target type Emissions intensity of GDP • Absolute emissions limit
• Absolute emissions reduction budget
• Emissions peak
Explanation why the target is a fair contribution towards the global goal Not applicable Chile argues it is a progression of efforts, peaking and climate neutrality in line with global targets.
Followed guidance in Decision 4/CMA.1 on target transparency Not applicable Chile has provided the guidance but has not presented the information in a tabular form.

Target development timeline & previous CAT analysis

CAT rating of targets

The CAT rates NDC targets against what would be a fair contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal, as well as against what needs to happen within a country’s own borders. Chile will need international support to achieve those needed reductions within its borders.

Chile has put forward two targets in its NDC: one that it will achieve using its own resources and one that requires international support. We rate the country’s unconditional target against its fair share contribution and its conditional target against the level of reductions needed within its border, defined by a modelled domestic pathway.

Internationally supported target:
Almost Sufficient

We rate Chile’s 2030 internationally supported target– a reduction of up to 45% in net emissions by 2030, subject to international support– as “Almost sufficient” when compared with modelled domestic emissions pathways. The “Almost sufficient” rating indicates that Chile’s conditional target in 2030 is not yet consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C but could be, with moderate improvements.

If all countries were to follow Chile’s approach, warming could be held below—but not well below—2°C. To improve its rating and be consistent with the 1.5°C temperature limit, Chile could increase the ambition of its conditional 2030 climate target equivalent to an absolute emissions limit of 69 MtCO2e excl. LULUCF in 2030 and, if necessary, outline the international support that it would need to achieve it.

Reduction of up to 45% net GHG emissions (i.e. incl. LULUCF) from 2016 levels by 2030. Depending on the expected contribution of the LULUCF sector for this target (i.e. share of CO2 removals), this target could reduce emissions excluding LULUCF to between 95 MtCO2e and 90 MtCO2e.

The 2020 NDC links the 2030 target to the long-term goal for GHG neutrality by 2050, as well as to planning processes involving governance, existing and future strategies including the “Long-term Climate Strategy 2050.” According to the NDC text, the current NDC planning and update process should allow for the NDC and its consecutive iterations to be intermediate milestones to achieve the 2050 neutrality goal, i.e. taking into account the necessary measures to reach this (Government of Chile, 2020a).

It also includes a target to reduce black carbon emissions by at least 25% by 2030 below 2016 emission levels.


Black Carbon and Chile’s NDC

Chile’s 2020 NDC update includes a target to reduce black carbon emissions, which has substantial co-benefits for human health. However, reductions in black carbon are generally not additional to those leading to reductions in CO2, because large fractions of black carbon emissions stem from the same emission sources as CO2. Emission reduction policies therefore often reduce CO2 and black carbon simultaneously, and this is already included in calculations of the emissions reductions required to hold warming well below 2°C globally, like the “emissions gap” and “fair share” reductions (see section on Fair Share).

In its Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), the IPCC does not provide calculations of Global Warming Potential for black carbon comparable to those provided for greenhouse gases, merely noting the inherent difficulties in doing so and limiting itself to displaying estimates from the pre-AR5 literature .


For information on Chile’s 2019 draft NDC or its original submission in 2017, see our comparison assessment of Chile’s NDCs and the previous country assessment of the 2017 NDC submission.

Whether Chile should receive some climate finance from abroad to reduce its emissions is a matter of debate. Our methods do not provide a clear answer to this question. On balance, the CAT methodology shows that provision of a small but important amount of international support is consistent with the wide range of literature on fair share contributions to meeting the Paris Agreement's goals (the figure above shows it could provide a small amount of support).

Fair share target:
Insufficient

We rate Chile’s 2030 unconditional reduction target as “Insufficient” when compared to its fair-share contribution to climate action. The “Insufficient” rating indicates that Chile’s unconditional target in 2030 needs substantial improvements to be consistent with limiting warming to 1.5°C. Chile’s target is at the least stringent end of what would be a fair share of global effort, and is not consistent with the 1.5°C limit, unless other countries make much deeper reductions and comparably greater effort. If all countries were to follow Chile’s approach, warming would reach over 2°C and up to 3°C.

In addition, both the unconditional and conditional NDCs include the following three targets for the LULUCF sector:

  • Sustainable management and recovery of 200,000 hectares of native forest, equivalent to GHG emissions capture between 0.9 and 1.2 MtCO2e/year by 2030
  • Reforestation of 200,000 hectares of forest, from which at least half correspond to permanent forest coverage, from which at least 70,000 hectares should be native species. This is equivalent to GHG emissions capture between 3 and 3.4 MtCO2e/year by 2030
  • Reduce emissions from deforestation and land degradation of native forest by 25% by 2030 compared to average emissions between 2001-2013

Net zero and other long-term target(s)

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 included it in the updated NDC submitted to the UNFCCC in the same year (Government of Chile, 2020b). In November 2021 the target was also included in the LTS and since June 2022 is enshrined in law with the passing of the Framework Law on Climate Change (Congreso Nacional de Chile, 2022).

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 and budgets. While Chile does not actively outline any plans reply on reductions and removals outside its borders, future iterations 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. It could include international aviation and shipping in its target’s scope, and explicitly elaborate on fairness considerations.

For the full analysis click here.

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