【Ferro-alloys.com】：Chile’s mining industry will have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum by 2050 under the climate change bill approved by congress and sent to President Gabriel Boric to be signed into law.
The law is aimed at complying with international commitments, such as the Paris Agreement, the Kyoto Protocol and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in addition to implementing plans, policies and measures to achieve net carbon neutrality within 28 years. It will be the first legal instrument in Chile to regulate climate change, its causes and effects.
Mining generates around 7% of Chile’s greenhouse gases from the extraction process and production of metals. Indirect emissions, such as from electric power consumption, account for another 14%, according to Pedro Lagos, regulatory and environmental director at law firm Arteaga & Gorziglia.
In 2021, direct copper mining operations represented 72% of electric power consumed by the industry but that should decline to 37% by 2032, according to a study by state copper commission Cochilco, to achieve carbon neutrality in line with a gradual incorporation of renewable energies.
Under the climate change law, the environment ministry will be responsible for drawing up an emissions mitigation plan with limits for each productive sector, while the mining ministry will be the “sector articulator” for the industry.
“The mining industry has technical, economic, human and administrative resources to come out of this well. In-depth solutions that streamline and make the process viable… almost completely eliminating its direct and indirect greenhouse gas emissions should be implemented," he said.
"The law gave a clear signal that all consumers of certain volumes of energy must have an energy measurement system and set goals with annual reduction rates," Cristián Mosella, an expert at energy solutions company Energy Lab, told BNamericas.
Mining companies are aligned with the environmental objectives that their customers demand of them, and all are transitioning towards renewable energy contracts. Those that are not investing could enter into renewable energy power purchase agreements, he added.
Chile is the world's largest copper producer.