Just days before being selected as the host for the next UN climate talks (COP25), Chile introduced policy makers to its successful carbon footprint platform (“HuellaChile”) and, together with Peru and Costa Rica, set the stage for a new regional alliance on voluntary emission reporting and offset. The event followed on the heels of Chile’s annual award ceremony, which recognizes parties for voluntarily reporting their emissions through HuellaChile, and a first meeting between the countries to explore regional synergies on this particular topic, attending an effort supported by UNDP´s NDC Support Programme and UNFCCC’s Climate Neutral Now initiative.
HuellaChile, which was initially created in 2013, is one of the first voluntary carbon management programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean, and was created with the objective to promote carbon footprint management among public and private organizations and to support the Chile’s commitment on emission reporting under the UNFCCC. The initiative has since quickly developed into a valuable tool to inspire society-wide contribution - including public entities and NGOs - to Chile’s emission reduction targets under the Paris Agreement.
How does it work?
The initiative relies on an awards-based approach to incentivize participation from non-traditional stakeholders and honor climate champions who create innovative, real-impact solutions. Four different levels of contribution are recognized, ranging from the emission reporting, to emission reduction, and emission neutralization. The seal of excellence is awarded for efforts going beyond emission neutrality, such as managing water footprint, paperless policies or gender considerations. HuellaChile is also fully linked to the national GHG/MRV accounting system, in order to ensure consider the efforts towards NDC goals.
Currently, over 565 organizations are participating in the rapidly growing platform, covering a wide range of sectors, including public services, the academia, port logistics, pharmaceutical and industrial companies. Two-hundred and eighteen (218) recognitions have already been awarded to 87 organizations, 100 of which were granted in 2018. The vast majority (93%) are recognitions for achieving the first stage of engagement, which is emissions reporting.
Taking it to the regional level
With a view to resolve some barriers that prevent the scaling up of the initiative, Chile looked at sharing experiences with other countries in the region, such as Peru and Costa Rica, to facilitate the international recognition of their award winners through a regional carbon neutrality initiative. UNDP, along with UNFCCC’s Climate Neutral Now initiative, has provided support for this exchange to identify barriers to scaling up, such as the costs related to hiring auditors.
The three countries are now exploring ways to establish synergies to define ways for improving the voluntary emission reporting mechanisms on a regional basis and to identify steps to formalize a regional alliance. A recent meeting in November in Santiago kicked off discussions, with Huella Perú, Programa País Carbono Neutralidad 2.0 de Costa Rica and HuellaChile, before the alliance was officially introduced at a UNFCCC Global Climate Action (GCA) event at the COP24.
“The alliance will include a recognition system from national, to regional and to global scope, so this is expected to provide a very competitive advantage for those organizations, and in some cases for those individuals who are putting in efforts in this carbon neutrality scheme”, said Carlos Ruiz-Garvia from the UNFCCC, when he presented the regional initiative at the COP24.
In parallel, the Germany’s Development and Climate Alliance joined forces with UNFCCC’s Climate Neutrality Now to create a partnership which will promote the mobilization of additional funds to support emission reductions.
These events were seen as promising first step towards consolidating a regional exchange to help countries improve the management of their carbon footprint, and promoting an all society approach to meeting the climate targets.
“With next COP25 being held in Chile, this could be a very timely alignment of circumstances that will not only allow Huella Chile to grow exponentially, but also to attract more interest in the regional carbon neutrality initiative”, said Gianluca Merlo, Climate Technical Specialist, UNDP.
HuellaChile has been supported by the UNDP NDC Support Programme; Huella Perú, and the Programa País Carbono Neutralidad 2.0 of Costa Rica has been supported by the World Bank Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) initiative. UNDP’s NDC Support Programme will help the countries accelerate their transition towards a resilient and zero-carbon development model and receive support from the South-South cooperation, as part of the NDC Partnership commitments.
The NDC Support Programme is funded by the European Union, and the Governments of Germany and Spain, and works in contribution to the NDC Partnership.