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SEPT. 8, 2021

Minister Schmidt calls on major emitters to address climate change with a sense of urgency

“We need a greater global effort, a higher number of public and private stakeholders, national, regional and local governments and, in particular, a larger number of the world’s major emitters to get behind effective climate action and the commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest,” said Minister Schmidt while participating in the “High-Level Dialogue on Climate Action in the Americas”.

Chile’s Environment Minister and President of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25), Carolina Schmidt, called on all countries, in particular major emitters, to ramp up their efforts to address climate change and commit to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest, in line with scientific advice. 

“I’m calling on all countries, in particular the large polluters, to get behind this urgent global challenge and address climate change with the responsibility and sense of urgency demanded by society, science and life on our planet,” Minister Schmidt said while participating in the “High-Level Dialogue on Climate Action in the Americas” debate. 

She added, “today, we need a greater global effort, a higher number of public and private stakeholders, national, regional and local governments and, in particular, a larger number of the world’s major emitters to get behind effective climate action and the commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest.” 

The Minister emphasized that climate change is undoubtedly “the greatest challenge we face as a generation.” Confronting it decisively and with a sense of urgency is therefore “an ethical, social and economic imperative. There is no sector, industry or activity that is not going to be profoundly affected.” 

She added that the recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “constitutes a new, urgent and clear call from science to every country in the world, in particular the major emitters, to reduce their emissions and meet the commitments that were drawn up in the Paris Agreement to ensure that the temperature does not rise by more than 1.5° Celsius.” 

In this regard, Minister Schmidt explained that, despite being a small-scale polluter, Chile “has decided to confront climate change in an ambitious way, via a science-based state policy that transcends successive governments. This is why President Sebastián Piñera has developed the Climate Change Framework Law for Chile, which sets goals for resilience and carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest, in line with scientific advice.” 

Minister Schmidt also highlighted the importance of the oceans, and their inclusion in the climate agenda, as an integral part of global climate action to guarantee the integrity of marine and coastal ecosystems. 

Furthermore, she said that even during the COVID-19 pandemic Chile had updated its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), linking it to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and accelerating the decarbonization of its energy matrix,. “This led to the important decision adopted in COP25, which established the mandate to carry out the first dialogue on oceans and climate change. This constituted a milestone in the convention process and was a huge achievement, as it brought together two previously separate agendas, on oceans and climate, in an unprecedented way after more than 25 years,” Minister Schmidt stated. 

She concluded by mentioning that Chile, in its role as President of COP25, has spearheaded the Climate Ambition Alliance: Net Zero 2050, an initiative launched in 2019 that brings together countries, businesses, investors, cities and regions who are working towards achieving net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050

Minister Schmidt explained that this alliance now includes 122 countries and more than 3,000 organizations around the world, which together account for 68% of world GDP, 61% of global emissions and a committed investment of more than US$88 trillion to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest.