Chile accounts for just 0,25% of global emissions, yet our country is very vulnerable to climate change. We meet 7 out of the 9 conditions of vulnerability, which places us among the 10 nations most affected by this phenomenon, according to the Global Climate Risk Index 2017 report unveiled by Germanwatch at the COP22.
Vulnerability conditions in Chile:
1. Low coastal areas
2. Forest areas exposed to forest degradation
3. Areas prone to natural disasters
4. Areas prone to drought and desertification
5. Areas with high urban air pollution
6. Areas with mountain ecosystems
7. Being a country with an economy relying heavily on income generated from production, processing and export of fossil fuels and energy-intensive related products, or on their consumption.
The only two criteria not present in Chile are: to be an island country or a landlocked country and transit countries.
On the other hand, the country has suffered 8 years of an extended drought that has affected 70% of our population; serious wildfires that have consumed more than 500,000 hectares and destroyed 17% of our native forest; powerful landslides have devastated entire cities like Chañaral; hailstorms in summer have strongly affected fruit production including blueberries, cherries, kiwis and table grape across the regions of O'Higgins and El Maule. This reality admits of no other interpretation. Only more decisive climate action can change our destiny.
Chile is a world reference due to the seriousness and responsibility to fulfill commitments undertaken.
We unveiled our Third Biennial Update Report on Climate Change at the last COP24 which contains all our emissions inventory from 1990 to 2016. We were the first developing country to release this report and comply with the (2018) deadline.
The submission of this report will not only make it possible to assess the effectiveness of the measures taken, but it is also the cornerstone for shaping future climate change policies. This report is a clear and powerful demonstration of Chile's commitment in terms of emission management and transparency for moving towards emissions neutrality, key to sustainable development.
Figures Highlights from the report:
1) In 2016, the Forest Sector captured 65 million tCO2eq, improving its status as a carbon sink (GHG collector) by 30.8% since 1990, but decreasing it by 8.9% since 2013 (mainly due to wildfires).
2) The average in OECD countries is 9.2 tons of CO2 per person, while the global average of CO2 emissions per person is 4.4 tons. We see that the greater the development, the higher the GHG emissions. Our country just exceeds that figure, with 4.7 tons of CO2 per person. That is why we must fight to break the link between development on the one hand and greenhouse gas emissions on the other. That is our goal.
3) As for the intensity indicators for the Greenhouse Gas Emissions to Gross Domestic Product ratio, it was 0.93 tons of CO2 equivalent, showing a 10% decline since 2007.
The decline in Chile's emissions indicator shows that the country has been able to generate growth without necessarily increasing its emissions by the same rate. This reinforces the conviction of President Sebastián Piñera's government that real development is not possible if it is not sustainable.
Between 2014 and 2018 we doubled renewable generation from 10% to 20%, fulfilling ahead of schedule the non-conventional power generation goal of 20% by 2025. The goal by 2050 is to reach 70% clean generation.
Chile firmly believes that the scientific approach is key to keep moving forward and that accurate and transparent data are essential to achieve effective climate action.