Chile will seek global agreement to reduce polluting emissions

In the course of the upcoming summit scheduled to take place in Mexico, Chile will reaffirm the need to reach a legally binding agreement to reduce greenhouse gases.

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With a view to its participation at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that will take place in Mexico in December 2010, the Chilean government made it known through its Ministry for the Environment that the country will take a decisive stand in favor of the need to reach a substantive and legally binding agreement with a view to reducing polluting gas emissions in the world.

The ministry explained that the decision is based on two principles: respect for common but differentiated obligations –alluding to the historic responsibility of the industrialized countries in giving rise to the problem– and the need for the developed nations to assume ambitious emission-reducing commitments.

Thus, and in spite of being responsible for only 0.2% of the planet’s emissions, Chile ratified its self-imposed commitment to achieve a 20% reduction of its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2020, while insisting on the urgency of reaching a global binding agreement in this regard.

Chile’s official position has even greater merit taking into account that, in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol, the country has no legal obligation to reduce its polluting gases.

“It is our firm intention to develop nationally appropriate mitigation actions, by implementing public policies that will provide incentives for the efficient use of energy and its renewable sources”, stated the Minister for the Environment, María Ignacia Benítez.

To this aim, the official convened a council of ministers that will analyze the potential mitigation alternatives that could be implemented in the next few years, in addition to determining the instruments required to put these measures into action.

“The country is already developing mitigating actions in areas as important as energy efficiency, renewable energies, forestry and reforestation development, as well as the conservation of the natural forests and continual improvements in the public transportation system”, added Benítez.

Concrete examples of these policies can be appreciated in the north of the country, where wind farms are already in place and there is increasing development in the use of solar energy.

The forthcoming internatio nal summit on climate change is scheduled to take place at the end of this year in Cancún, Mexico, and will be directed mainly at establishing a package of operational measures that will enable immediate action to be initiated by the countries.

Another of the themes on the agenda is to set in motion short-term financial commitments on the part of the industrialized world.