|ARGENTINA TO CUT GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS BY 15%|
Aruba, October 1, 2015 - Argentina has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels, a figure that could be increased to 30 percent if the government receives extra funding from international agencies.
But while government officials describe the objective as “ambitious,” climate change experts and NGOs say the figure falls short of those set by other developing countries and question exactly how Argentina truly plans to reduce its emissions.
Countries that have signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), including Argentina, have to file a plan for tackling emissions, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). All national commitments will form part of a new global agreement on climate change, set to be signed in Paris in December.
“Argentina has the need to keep growing because of its citizens and we won’t prejudice that in order to be on good terms with international agencies,” Environment Secretary Sergio Lorusso told the Herald. “This is a global problem that affects everybody. Nevertheless, not all countries have the same responsibility. Our commitment is important and we made a great effort to reach that figure.”
Argentina will make its commitment official by submitting the INDC on Thursday to the UNFCC but carried out a summit yesterday to reveal some details. The plan includes many actions already on the way such as improving the railroad network and building more dams and nuclear plants and also lists measures to implement such as increasing energy efficiency on a domestic and industrial scale.
“Responsibilities aren’t the same for everybody. Argentina made a commitment based on its current situation, including efforts already being made towards mitigation and adaptation,” Fabiana Loguzzo, Environmental Affairs Director at the Foreign Ministry, said at the summit. “It’s a starting-point, we’ll see if we can improve or change something in the future. Countries have the right to choose what path to take.”
A higher biodiesel blending is also expected by the government, growing from the current 10 percent to 15 percent in 2030 with a 15 percent emissions reduction scenario, a figure that grows to 27 percent with the 30 percent scenario.
Meanwhile, renewable energy, currently accounting for less than one percentage point on the country’s energy matrix, would increase to between eight and 12 percent by 2030 with the 15 percent reduction goal and to 20 percent with the 30 percent objective. Such figures are lower than the 25 percent objective by 2025 set days ago by a recently passed law.
“Argentina has the capacity to cut emissions by 30 percent by 2030, but that depends on international funding. Developed countries have vowed those funds will be available but we aren’t sure about that,” Juan Pablo Vismara, Sustainable Development under-secretary, told the Herald. “It’s an ambitious goal and we’ll reach it by carrying out a set of measures.”