Argentina’s new plan for reducing carbon emissions
Author: Javier Lewkowicz
In 2020, Argentina pledged not to exceed 349 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2030 – a 4.6% reduction on emissions recorded in 2018, the most recent year for which data is available. The country’s new “Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Plan” is a roadmap for making this happen. The plan includes 250 public policy measures to be implemented by 2030 and prioritises natural gas as a transition fuel. It also calls for lower emissions in agriculture and livestock activity, and focuses heavily on improving water management. “One of the main objectives of the plan was to make climate change a cross-cutting issue in all areas of the national government,” explains Florencia Mitchell, national director of climate change at Argentina’s environment ministry. “In creating the plan, we’re taking the first step towards achieving that.” However, experts warn that it fails to define sufficient metrics to check progress over time. “Of the 122 mitigation measures, only 18 have quantifiable emission reduction potential,” says Belén Alejandra Silva, an Argentinean environmental consultant. The energy sector, excluding transport, contributes 37% of Argentina’s emissions. To reduce these, the plan proposes the use of natural gas as a priority. “Measures will be implemented to gasify energy consumption currently supplied by liquid fuels derived from petroleum,” the document states. Vaca Muerta – one of the largest unconventional hydrocarbon deposits in the world, in Neuquén province, northwest Patagonia – is seen as key to increasing natural gas production in the country.