Climate change law to test Chile’s coordination capacities

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, January 12, 2023
Climate change law to test Chile’s coordination capacities

The implementation of Chile’s framework law on climate change will test the coordination capacities of local and national authorities, according to environment minister Maisa Rojas.

The law, passed last year, will require the co-existence of various long-term adaptation and mitigation strategies drafted by the three levels of government, Rojas said. 

It gives a one-year deadline for regional governments to draft long-term climate strategies, while municipal administrations will have three years to do so. These will have to be consistent with each other and also with the national climate action plan. 

The national strategy will contain eight adaptation plans and seven mitigation plans, the minister said. 

“This is a challenge for integration of capacities and cohesiveness between what we have at the central level and up to the last municipality of Chile,” the minister said during a climate risk reporting seminar organized by the Latin American economic and social policy center of Chile’s Universidad Católica (Clapes UC). 

Each of the central government’s adaptation and mitigation plans will cover a specific economic sector such as mining, agriculture, infrastructure and energy, among others.

Lack of coordination between local governments and the heavily centralized national government has been cited as a cause of delays in issues such as allocation of funds for investments and the execution of infrastructure concessions outside the central Metropolitan region. 


Starting this year, Chilean firms will be required to include sustainability issues in their annual reports. The new rule will be applied gradually. 

This will include reporting potential climate risks, not only for the company making the report, but also for its stakeholders. 

“The long-term costs of not doing this are a lot higher,” Solange Berstein, head of financial market regulator CMF said during the Clapes UC seminar.

When BNamericas asked Berstein about the penalties established for those who fail to report climate risks, she explained that the CMF does not intend to use the new rules as a tool to persecute businesses. 

“If that information is missing from the report, or if there is false information, there will be a sanctions procedure. But our main goal isn’t to penalise, our goal is for the new rule to be followed so that it benefits everyone,” she said.

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