Colombia: Climate Action Law – Discover the measures that will be taken for carbon neutrality and environmental resilience; and the role of actors in the economy (benefits and obligations)

In short

The Climate Action Act defines a catalog of government actions which involve all the actors of the Colombian economy.

He describes the compliance program with the international commitments acquired by the Paris Agreement for achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

In this alert, we identify the opportunities and obligations to be followed.

Contents

  1. Key points to remember
  2. In detail
  3. Mining and energy
  4. Housing, city and territory
  5. Agriculture
  6. Trade, industry and tourism
  7. Transport
  8. Environment and Sustainable Development
  9. Private sector participation
  10. Regarding the development of carbon markets
  11. Other measures

Key points to remember

With this law, the Colombian government defines the transition program towards carbon neutrality and climate resilience through 16 pillarsof which the following are highlighted:

  1. Labor sustainability through the creation of environmentally friendly jobs
  2. The co-responsibility and objectives of government entities (central and territorial) are defined; private sector parties are specifically included
  3. It highlights the transition to carbon neutrality and climate resilience, seeking to advance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  4. It emphasizes increasing education campaigns.

There are sector goals, ranging from 2022 to 2030, the following being the most important:

  1. Colombia will seek to be carbon neutral by 2050
  2. CO2 emissions will be reduced by 51% by 2030
  3. 30% of protected territories will be secured by 2022
  4. Carbon budgets are established for the period 2020 to 2030
  5. Black carbon emissions will be reduced by 40% by 2030
  6. Net deforestation of natural forest will be reduced to 0 hectare/year by 2030.

In detail

The law establishes five greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions mitigation goalsas well as sectoral objectives for the following sectors:

  1. Housing, City and Territory (five objectives related to water and its treatment)
  2. Health and social protection (two linked to the reduction of climate-related diseases)
  3. Mines and energy (three objectives aimed at sector planning for the hydrocarbons, coal mines and electric power sub-sectors)
  4. Transport (five objectives to ensure sustainable and green development of the sector)
  5. Agriculture, fisheries and rural development (five goals aimed at food security and adaptation of the agricultural industry)
  6. Environment and Sustainable Development (the most important, with 20 objectives that encompass the coverage, maintenance and enhancement of its components).

Here are the main sectoral measures (ranging from 2022 to 2030) planned to reduce and prevent GHG emissions and increase their sustainability:

Mining and energy

  1. Produce additional energy efficiency actions
  2. Put in place adequate management of fugitive emissions in the hydrocarbon chain
  3. Examine this difference in electricity consumption between peak and off-peak hours
  4. Increase production and self-production with unconventional renewable energy sources
  5. Stimulate the conversion of coal production into cleaner energy.

Housing, city and territory

  1. Reduce final disposal of potentially usable waste
  2. Revitalize sanitary landfills and biogas capture and/or combustion systems
  3. Promoting the energy conversion of the medical vehicle fleet
  4. Improving the management of domestic wastewater
  5. Sustainable buildings in terms of energy and water use
  6. Establish criteria for sustainable urban development.

Agriculture

  1. Increased GHG removal in forests and crops
  2. Efficient use of fertilizers
  3. Education and prevention of deforestation and sustainable agriculture
  4. Use of biomass for the production of biofuels and bioenergy.
  1. Promote energy efficiency in industries
  2. Initiate the transition to more efficient technologies, equipment and practices
  3. Accelerating the transition to low-carbon economies
  4. Implement sustainable logistics actions.

Transport

  1. Accelerate electric mobility (at least 600,000 electric vehicles)
  2. Seek price parity between electric and conventional vehicles
  3. Modernization of the freight vehicle fleet
  4. Promote air navigation based on aircraft performance
  5. Strengthening river navigability with the Magdalena River PPP project
  6. Promote the rehabilitation of railway infrastructure and its freight transport
  7. Implement Active Mobility (the human being as a driving force)
  8. Optimal land use based on sustainable transport
  9. Promote the use of sustainable aviation fuels.

Environment and Sustainable Development

  1. One million hectares of non-timber forest accumulated by 2030
  2. Installation of one million efficient wood-burning stoves
  3. Promoting the reduction of ozone depleting products (HFCs)
  4. Best practices and efficient use of energy resources by end users
  5. Calculation of GHG mitigation in Colombian ecosystems
  6. Natural Conservation Contracts for the sustainable management of 2.5 million hectares
  7. Development of early detection of forest fires
  8. Implementation of circular economy strategies
  9. Regulate the collection and management of hazardous consumer products
  10. Formulation of nature-based solutions programs and projects.

Private sector participation

  1. Increased private sector participation will be encouraged by highlighting success stories, voluntary agreement programs and zero deforestation, among others
  2. Mandatory reporting of emissions in the GHG Emissions Report (ER) will be administered by the Department of Environment
  3. Biotic offsets can only be registered as GHG mitigation initiatives once environmental license commitments have been met
  4. The 30% natural gas vehicle quota will be removed for carriers acquiring electric and/or hydrogen vehicle fleets
  5. Eligible properties may be recognized as conservation areas
  6. A system of protection and monitoring of environmental leaders will be created.

Regarding the development of carbon markets

  1. A national GHG emissions inventory will be prepared
  2. The National Registry for the Reduction of Emissions and Elimination of Greenhouse Gases (RENARE) will be created in order to enable transactions in the carbon markets
  3. The National Information System on Climate Change is created as a mandatory consultation instrument in decision-making on the matter
  4. A study commission will be created to promote and develop carbon markets in Colombia, as well as to generate recommendations for its development
  5. The Low Carbon Development Implementation and Monitoring Plan is created to monitor the objectives established in this law.
  1. The National System of Conservation Areas is created
  2. Green hydrogen projects will be considered of public utility and social interest
  3. The National Register of Deforested Areas is created
  4. Two funds for the technological advancement of freight transport (Capital District and National) are established
  5. The special carbon tax is modified, with equal allocations for the mitigation and prevention of environmental degradation and the substitution of illicit crops.

You can view the full text of Law 2169 of 2021 here –

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