December 05, 2023 #ChileGlobal #ChileSustentable

COP28: Chile stands out for its progress in climate change mitigation

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Our country is attending this year's environmental conference in Dubai, with the challenge of co-facilitating one of the most relevant negotiations: the Global Adaptation Goal, led by the Minister of Environment, Maisa Rojas. Advances in energy transition, green finance, nature-based solutions, as well as the importance of Antarctica as a sensor of climate change, are part of the story with which Chile presents itself to the world.

It is the most important and multitudinous environmental conference on the planet, with 197 participating countries, in addition to the European Union, over 165 heads of state and 70,000 delegates from all over the world actively participating. It is the COP28, which this year will be held in Dubai, between November 30 and December 12. Chile arrives at the meeting seeking to make visible its significant progress in the fight against climate change, and to demonstrate its commitment to sustainability and decarbonization.

Chile as a facilitator of negotiations

The country's role in this version of the Conference of the Parties is key, since the United Arab Emirates - which holds the presidency this year - asked Minister Maisa Rojas, together with the Australian Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy, Jenny McAllister, to co-facilitate one of the most relevant negotiations: the Global Adaptation Goal. 

This negotiation seeks to improve adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change. Today, adaptation is conceived from a local perspective where each country is responsible for the impacts of climate change in its territory. In this context, Chile is committed to achieving the ambitious goal of making countries climate resilient in a world where the global temperature will increase by 1.5°C.

Energy Transition: Latin America's Development Pole

A recent study by the international consulting firm McKinsey, one of the most prestigious in the world, indicated that Chile could be the only carbon neutral country in Latin America by 2040, being at the level of developed countries such as Finland, Austria and Iceland. Therefore, it is crucial for Chile to move forward in the adoption of non-conventional renewable energy sources (NCRE), and to assume its potential for the development of the region. 

Policies such as the Energy Transition Strategy, Green Hydrogen and Lithium, accompanied by innovative projects such as Cerro Dominador or the Haru Oni green hydrogen plant in Magallanes, allow Chile to be considered at COP 28 as a development pole in the region in terms of renewable energies.

The road to sustainable finance in Latin America and the Caribbean

In 2019 Chile became the first country in the Americas to issue green bonds, a tool to channel investments into green assets, contribute to further financial development and promote economic innovation that supports the country's sustainable, low-carbon, climate-resilient development trajectory. Its categories are aligned with Chile's priorities, currently focused on clean transportation, clean energy and green buildings.

In this way, the country seeks to highlight the role of financial strategies in addressing change.

climate change and biodiversity. Thematic bonds represent 36% of public debt, among the highest percentages in the world. The strategy for 2026 is to reach 50% of thematic bonds. 

Nature-based solutions: the key role of forests and oceans

The area of conservation of ecological balances, both terrestrial and oceanic, is considered essential. Chile has important efforts in its ecosystem adaptation policy, particularly in the marine area, such as the Marine Protected Areas and the ArClim program, which developed climate change-related risk maps for the country.

The study "Strategic Design of Nature-Based Solutions for Chile" conducted by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the UC Global Change Center in 2022 indicates that our country has a high potential to address the climate crisis using Nature-Based Solutions (NBS). The management of forest fires, avoiding forest degradation and deforestation, and the expansion and management of protected areas, are the most effective measures that Chile seeks to contribute to the climate emergency that the planet is experiencing.

Antarctica: Climate change sensor

The Chilean territory concentrates most of the mountain glaciers in South America, so Antarctica plays an important role in the global climate balance. As the only country with a sub-Antarctic region, Chile has established itself as a natural laboratory for studying climate change. Recent studies have shown the important role played by these ecosystems, from extensive macroalgae forests that act as CO2 sinks in Magallanes, to the behavior of the eternal ice of the area, whose melting rate today allows us to measure the magnitude of the climate crisis. 

Among the actions that have been promoted at the international level, "Ambition on Melting Ice" stands out, an initiative led by our country together with Iceland that seeks to create, through science, policies to halt the melting of ice and the loss of water resources as a consequence of the impact of climate change in Antarctica. 

At the beginning of the year, Chile launched the Climate Change Observatory, a platform that collects and makes available data from a network of sensors strategically located throughout the country - from Visviri in the north to Antarctica in the far south - with the aim of gathering information to formulate public policies on climate change, based on scientific evidence.

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