June 05, 2023 #ChileSustentable

10 actions that Chile is promoting to protect the environment

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From investing in clean energy generation and more sustainable public transportation to reducing plastic waste, Chile is leading the region in initiatives that seek to protect the environment.

Escazú Agreement: At the end of May 2022, the Chilean Senate approved the integration of the country into the Escazú Agreement, which seeks to change the environmental institutional framework and adapt it to the climatic, water, social, economic and cultural situation of the territories. This is the first Latin American agreement on environmental issues, in addition to Chile's other efforts in this area.

Turquoise Foreign Policy: The Turquoise Foreign Policy contemplates various objectives and priorities that position Chile as a relevant actor in the mitigation of climate change, the protection of the ocean and ecosystems, with special emphasis on moving towards a more sustainable development model. This public policy also includes the creation of the Climate Change Observatory, an entity that is currently compiling information on the climate crisis and making it available to the international community.

Carbon neutral by 2050: Chile is committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, i.e. that greenhouse gas emissions -responsible for climate change- are equal to or less than the absorption of such gases by nature. One of the main pillars to achieve this goal is to move towards a clean energy matrix and leave fossil fuels in the past, so Chile has proposed to progressively close coal-fired power plants and increase the construction of non-conventional renewable energy plants.

Chile's privileged geography allows the country to count today with Cerro Dominador, the first solar thermal plant in Latin America, and soon with Horizonte -currently under construction-, which will become the largest wind power plant in the region. Similarly, the first Green Hydrogen plant in our country, Haru Oni, produced the first liters of the synthetic fuel in December 2022, three examples of how our country advances in caring for the environment and improving the quality of life of people.

Development of Green Hydrogen: As a result of the collaborative work of industry, academia, civil society and the public sector, in November 2020 the National Green Hydrogen Strategy was published, an essential part of the carbon neutrality plan and Chile's commitment to sustainable development.

The strategy aims to develop and export clean synthetic fuel and its derivatives as part of a State policy, which in 2023 was complemented with the launch of the Green Hydrogen Action Plan 2023-2030, which deepens and expands this key roadmap for the country's sustainable economic development.

Chile diplomatic player in climate negotiations: Chile is leveraging its progressive renewable energy credentials to establish itself as a major diplomatic player in international climate negotiations. Chile co-hosted the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference in Madrid in December 2019, hosted the Clean Energy Ministerial Conference in December 2022, and launched the "Americas for the Protection of the Oceans" coalition at the IX Summit of the Americas in June 2022.

Electromobility: Chile is betting on sustainable public transportation. In November 2022, the Ministry of Transport announced that the city of Santiago already has 809 electric buses, and it is expected that by mid-2023, this fleet will reach 2,000 units, making it the city with the largest number of this type of vehicles in Latin America and one of the most numerous worldwide, only surpassed by Chinese cities.

Protection of the oceans: Chile currently has 10 parks and 5 marine reserves, which translates into nearly 1,500,000 km2 officially protected. This figure represents more than 40% of the national Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a fact that has earned our country the recognition of the international community. In addition to this, Chile maintains a series of international alliances focused on the protection of the oceans, including the International Alliance against Ocean Acidification, the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and the promotion of international projects that provide greater protection to the world's oceans.

If you want to learn more about what Chile is doing to protect our oceans, click here.

Framework Law on Climate Change: This law institutionalizes the fight against climate change as a state policy, which implies that the ecological approach is integrated into the decisions of all ministries. The law establishes as a national goal for the country to be carbon neutral by 2050 at the latest, which will be reviewed every five years to determine whether this goal is being advanced. It also sets as a goal for the country to be climate resilient, that is, to be able to adapt to the effects of climate change in the territories. In this way, the goal is to aim for a development that takes care of nature.

Chileans engaged in the environmental crisis: Chile's energy transition has been widely supported by parties across the political spectrum and endorsed by the public. Ninety-one percent of Chileans believe that climate change should be treated as a government priority, according to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.

Commitment in the eyes of the world: Chile has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to environmental protection, as evidenced by its outstanding evaluations in various international rankings. In The Climate Change Performance Index 2023 report, the country ranks first in Latin America and is surpassed only by Denmark and Sweden worldwide. In addition, in the Climate Change Performance Index 2022, Chile ranked first in Latin America and sixth worldwide. Likewise, in MIT's prestigious The Green Future Index 2022, Chile ranked third in Latin America. These achievements are evidence of the significant efforts Chile is making to address climate change and promote a greener, more sustainable future.





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