Climate Change Laws in Chile and Spain

A virtual meeting to analyse the participatory processes carried out by Chile and Spain, in the consultations of their respective Climate Change bills.

Madrid, June 24th - Last Tuesday, June 23, the virtual meeting “Climate Change Laws in Chile and Spain: Visions of their participatory processes” took place. The webinar, organised by the EUROCLIMA+ programme, through the International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy, was attended by Carolina Urmeneta, from the Climate Change Office of the Chilean Ministry of the Environment, and Helena Fabra, from the counterpart institution in the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge of Spain

The legislatures of Chile and Spain are now processing their first climate change bills that recognise carbon neutrality by 2050. EUROCLIMA+, through the FIIAPP Foundation, has supported the construction process of Chile's first climate change framework bill.

Chile has developed its Draft Framework Law on Climate Change with a broad and extensive participatory process to collect citizens' observations and, based on this, identify the contents that would be included in the law. This process, which took place between July 2018 and January 2019, considered early participation, at which time there was no written text, holding workshops in all the regions of the country and  reaching a total of 1,800 people. In her intervention, Carolina Urmeneta highlighted the need to incorporate the principles of equity and transversality as fundamental elements for citizen participation. She also pointed out the importance of climate change laws as key tools in driving the implementation of the Paris agreement at national levels, since they include binding decarbonisation targets under the framework of a country transformation vision.

In the case of Spain, the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law (PLCCTE)  is the regulatory and institutional framework to facilitate and guide the decarbonisation of the Spanish economy by 2050, a decarbonisation that must be socially just. The PLCCTE is a text that has been reinforced in terms of ambition, governance, participation and transparency and it has been submitted to public information and hearings and has incorporated allegations resulting from this process. Helena Fabra, representative of the OECC, shared its development, highlighting the pioneering nature of Spain, at both national and sectoral levels, of the inclusion of the participatory dimension in its design: "It has been possible to develop a broad public consultation with citizens, including individuals, companies, NGOs and civil servants".

The event was followed by more than 200 people from the Latin American and European regions, and enriched by an intense debate based on the interventions of Ricardo Bosshard, Director of WWF Chile, Marina Hermosilla, Executive Director of the Business Leaders Group for Climate Action (CLG-Chile), Pilar Moraga, Coordinator of the Climate Change Law Observatory for Chile (CR2-U of Chile), Sebastián Torrealba, member of the Environment and Natural Resources Commission of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, Flavia Liberona, Coordinator of the Citizens' Roundtable on Climate Change in Chile, and Beatriz García-Pozuelo, representative of the EUROCLIMA+ Programme.

Marina Hermosilla (CLG-Chile) pointed out that effective and accelerated climate action requires the involvement of many actors: citizens (domestic guidelines), local entities, companies, etc. and therefore requires the concertation of actors beyond the executive branch (government action) and the legislative branch (parliamentary debate). In this sense, she pointed out the importance of organising, segmenting and empowering groups for more effective climate action. "Participation is not possible if it is not organised with all sectors and in decision-making. We cannot all be in everything and we must learn to organise and represent ourselves".

For her part, Pilar Moraga (CR2-U of Chile) highlighted the importance of strengthening the communicative and consultative dimensions of the process, in the face of an excessive tendency towards information, as well as the public sharing of the systematisation that has been followed to incorporate and/or reject the proposals coming out of the consultation. In addition, she contributed a reflection on the shift in the political debate from the pertinence or not of submitting legislative projects to participatory processes for broad consensus in Chile, to the discussion of what we should understand by participation: "Today in Chile we are no longer discussing whether we are going to have participation or not, but in what the standard is, what we want from that participation, and on this there is no consensus".

Finally, Flavia Liberona highlighted the importance of dialogue with citizens to achieve effective and real participation in carrying out education and awareness raising work beforehand to understand the objective of dialogue and the consultation. "The participation processes must be more of dialogue and collective construction between all the people involved."


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EUROCLIMA+ is a programme financed by the European Union to promote environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient development in 18 Latin American countries, particularly for the benefit of the most vulnerable populations. The Programme is implemented under the synergistic work of seven agencies: the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), the French Development Agency (AFD), Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), Expertise France (EF), International and Ibero-American Foundation for Administration and Public Policy (FIIAPP), and UN Environment.


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Euroclima is the European Union's flagship programme on environmental sustainability and climate change with Latin America. It aims to reduce the impact of climate change and its effects in Latin America by promoting climate change mitigation and adaptation through resilience and investment. 
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