Argentina

Argentina

Geopolitical Informations

Capital
Buenos Aires
Population
43.8 million (2016)
Total area
2,780,400 km2

Main legislative bodies

  • Congreso de la Nación Argentina (bicameral)

Latest News

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Climate Policy Facts

Emissions

Year Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF ( MtCO2e) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per Capita ( tCO2e Per Capita) Total GHG Emissions Excluding LUCF Per GDP ( tCO2e / Million $ GDP)
1990 251.68 7.71 1033.79
1991 256.58 7.76 935.38
1992 264.3 7.88 860.75
1993 263.44 7.76 810.11
1994 271.66 7.9 789.3
1995 272.64 7.83 815.37
1996 282.35 8.01 800.16
1997 288.59 8.09 756.5
1998 291.49 8.07 735.78
1999 296.19 8.11 773.84
2000 298.22 8.08 785.34
2001 290.04 7.78 799.01
2002 285.78 7.59 883.53
2003 295.96 7.79 840.71
2004 322.95 8.43 841.41
2005 324.2 8.39 773.66
2006 340.55 8.73 749.24
2007 345.42 8.78 699.43
2008 356.31 8.98 675.81
2009 350.88 8.77 659.89
2010 359.01 8.89 618.53

The line chart shows the country’s carbon emissions by year, expressed in million tonnes of CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) for emission totals, and in tonnes of CO2 equivalent (tCO2e) for per capita and per dollar of GDP values. It is based on data from CAIT platform provided by the World Resource Insititute, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

By selecting or deselecting each item, you can compare or give prominence to particular emission trends.

Energy

Energy Source Production (ktoe) TPES (ktoe)
Coal 56,05 1141,179
Oil 31926,428 29246,703
Natural gas 34156,335 41667,262
Nuclear 1666,576 1666,576
Hydro 2518,51 2518,51
Geothermal 0 0
Solar thermal 0 0
Solar photovoltaics 0,688 0,688
Tide, wave, ocean 0 0
Wind 31,734 31,734
Biomass 2350,461 2350,461
Biofuels 2468,042 958,23
Waste 0 0

The double-doughnut chart shows the country’s energy production and TPES (Total Primary Energy Supply), expressed in thousand tonnes of oil equivalent (ktoe). It is built on data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/International Energy Agency libraries, and updated regularly with the most recent data available.

The INNER RING represents the country’s energy production from each energy source, corresponding to the quantities of fuels extracted or produced.

The OUTER RING shows the country’s total primary energy supply of each fuel. It represents the net quantities of fuels made available on the domestic market, after foreign transfers and trading. According to IEA’s definition, TPES equals production plus imports minus exports minus international bunkers plus or minus stock changes.

Differences between production and TPES are significant as they highlight the actual country’s behaviour in the matter of a given energy source. Production values and TPES values of the same energy source may vary widely, especially in case of the much-traded fossil fuels.

Energy data refers to year 2012.

National Policy

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Argentina is an upper middle income country according to the classification of the World Bank. There are 23 provinces, while the capital Buenos Aires is an autonomous city. Argentina is a federal republic with a bicameral congress. Laws have to be passed in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Moreover, the president, who is both head of state and head of government, has to sign the law. His veto can be reversed with a two-thirds majority in the both congressional bodies. In general, the governors and provincial congresses have significant power and can pass their own climate legislation, but they have to comply with the norms and standard defined by the national government. In 2015, a new administration was elected with Mauricio Macri becoming the new president of Argentina. The next elections will take place in 2019.

Argentina has suffered from a deep economic recession from 1998 until 2002, which has plunged about 60 percent of the population into poverty. This has led to a lack of trust in the state and consequently to a lack of investments in the country. The resulting high public debt constrains the innovative capacity.

CLIMATE CHANGE

Due to the economic situation, the government has concentrated in recent years on social development and economic recovery, while climate action has taken a back seat. Therefore, there is no comprehensive climate change legislation.

At institutional level, in 2002, the position of the Secretary for Environment and Sustainable Development was created, who is responsible for introducing and coordinating policies and actions relating to climate change. In 2003, the Climate Change Unit (Unidad de Cambio Climático, now Office of Climate Change, Dirección de Cambio Climático or DCC) was established within the Secretary of the Environment (Secretaría de Ambiente). Within the same institution was also created the National Advisory Committee on Climate Change (Comisión Nacional Asesora sobre Cambio Climático) including representatives of the Government, provinces, private sector, universities, and experts, whose functions are to provide specific assistance to the DCC and to coordinate cross-sector government actions.

In 2016, the National Climate Change Cabinet (NCCC) was created by the National Decree 891/2016. 12 ministries are part of the NCCC, whose main objective is to define climate change policies across vertical and horizontal governance levels and to create awareness. Two tasks of the NCCC are to prepare the National Plan for Response to Climate Change and to propose Sectoral Action Plans.

ENERGY

Argentina has an enormous potential for the utilisation of renewable energies due to low cost of land as well as high solar irradiation and wind speeds. Thus, the federal government has enacted several policies and programmes aiming at promoting renewable energies. But there are also other energy policies relating to energy efficiency, shale gas development and nuclear energy. These measures shall help to provide universal access to electricity, because five percent of the population still lacked electricity access in 2015.

Law 27,191 on Renewable Energy (2015)
The Renewable Energy Law aims to promote the development of renewable energies in Argentina. For this purpose, it sets several targets for renewable energy consumption, including a minimum of 20 percent total electricity consumed from renewable energy sources by 2025. In addition, the Law establishes a fund to finance renewable energy projects and defines minimum renewable requirements for large consumers. The Law updates the Regimen for the National Promotion for the Production and Use of Renewable Sources of Electric Energy (Law 26,190) and the precursor thereof, Law 25,019 Declaring a national interest to generate electricity from wind and solar energy.
Full document available here.

National Decree 531/2016 National Program for the Promotion of the Use of Renewable Sources of Energy Destined for Electric Power Generation (2016)
Following the Renewable Energy Law, this law imposes fines on large users of electricity that do not achieve to purchase or produce at least 8 percent of their power from renewable source.
Full document available here.

RenovAr Programme
The RenovAr Programme represents the regulatory framework for renewable energy, which forms the basis for tax incentives, the funding regime and for tender rounds.

Renewable Energy in the Rural Market Project (implemented 1999)
The government launched the second phase of the PERMER Project with a call for tenders for about 6,500 off-grid renewable energy systems in order to provide access to clean electricity for low-income population in rural and isolated areas. A first phase of the project ran from 1999 until 2012 with financial support from the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). During the first phase, 27,422 households and more than 2,000 schools were supplied with renewable energies and mini grids.
Detailed information on the first phase of the PERMER project available on the World Bank website.

Shale gas and nuclear energy
The Argentine government supports the shale gas development in the country, as it has the potential to reverse the decline in Argentina’s conventional gas production. This might enable the country to meet its increasing energy demand and even to become again a net exporter of fossil fuels, which it has been before 2006. Also nuclear energy plays an important role in the considerations of the government.

Law 26,473 on Incandescent light bulbs (2008)
The law prohibits the imports and commercialisation of incandescent light bulbs for general residential use starting from December 31, 2010.
Full document available here or as pdf.

National Decree 140/2007 National Programme on Rational and Efficient Use of Energy (2007)
The Energy Efficiency Decree creates the National Programme for the Rational Use of Energy and Energy Efficiency (Programa nacional de uso racional y eficiente de la energía -PRONUREE). The programmes gives incentives to reduce energy consumption and declares energy efficiency of national interest.
Full document available here or as pdf.
Other national programmes on energy efficiency include PIEEP (small and medium firms), PCAE (electric artefacts quality standards) and PAEEE (energy efficiency in public buildings). Moreover, the Argentine Fund for Energy Efficiency (FAEE) strives to provide credit lines to small- and medium-sized enterprise to implement investment projects to reduce their energy demand.
However, since 2001, the federal government has subsidised residential and commercial electricity, gas and water use, representing a disincentive to reduce consumption. In 2011, the subsidies ended for large corporations and high-income residencies.

Law 26,190 Regime of National Development for the use of renewable energy sources for the production of electricity (2006)
The law “Regimen de Fomento Nacional para el uso de fuentes renovables de energía destinada a la producción de energía eléctrica” is aimed to foster investments in renewable energy and proposes to achieve the goal of eight percent in the share of renewable energies in the national electricity consumption by 2017. It grants benefits to renewable energy production. Full document available here or as pdf.

TRANSPORTATION

National Decree 543/2016 on Biofuels (2016)
The National Decree on Biofuels requires a minimum of 12 percent of bioethanol blended in transport fuels. It builds upon Law 26,093 Regimen of Regulation and Promotion of the Production and Sustainable Use of Biofuels (2006).
Full document available here.

Law 27,132 on Argentine Railroads
The Law constitutes the regulatory framework for the optimisation of the rail transport system.
Full document available here.

Federal Law 26,093 on Biofuels Promotion (2006)
The Law 26,093 (implemented by the Executive Decree 109/2007) represents the legal framework of Argentina’s national program on biofuels. It creates a special regime for 15 years, establishing a 5% mandated percentage of bioethanol and 7% of biodiesel minimum in fossil gasoline and diesel. It defines domestic prices and quality standards for biofuels and grants fiscal benefits.
Full document available here or as pdf.

Federal Law 26,123 on Hydrogen Promotion (2006)
The Law declares the development of technology, production, use and applications of hydrogen as fuel of general interest. It gives tax benefits to promote the production, use and applications of hydrogen for 15 years.
Full document available here or as pdf.

National Decree 779/1995
The decree covers vehicle construction and use regulations, including the control of polluting gases, noise and parasitic radiation from cars.
Full document available here.

Law 24,449 on Transit mass public transport (1994)
Full document available here.

AFOLU

The agricultural sector reveals a great potential for reducing GHG emissions. This is linked to the high level of methane emissions as well as to emissions from deforestation, which is mainly caused by the expansion of agricultural fields and of extensive cattle ranching. As a result, the LULUCF (Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry) sector is currently a source of emissions.

Law 26,331 for the Environmental Protection of Native Forests (2007)
The Law 26/331 (Presupuestos Minimos de Proteccion Ambiental del los Bosques Nativos) establishes minimum budgets for environmental protection for the enrichment, restoration, conservation, sustainable use and management of native forests. It is the central tool to manage the growth of the agricultural frontier and to protect native forests. Within its framework, the National Fund for the Enrichment and Conservation of Native Forests was established, which provides for the payment for environmental services. According to the law, this fund consists mainly of annual budget allocation (not be less than 0.3 % of the national budget and 2% of the total exports of agricultural and forestry sector). However, during 2008 and 2009, the Fund did not receive the amounts established by law. Later, when in 2010 the Fund began to receive resources, part of them were reassigned by the national government for other purposes.
Full document accessible here or as pdf.
A variety of further initiatives have been adopted addressing food production, decrease of pesticide use, water stress resilience, the development of irrigation systems and early warning systems. Moreover, no-till agriculture, adequate fertilisation and crop rotation are included in respective strategies, as well as the development of biomass energy, the promotion of organic agriculture and the sustainable management of forest plantations.

Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD)
Since 2009, Argentina is a member of the UN REDD programme, but it is still in the early stages of the readiness process and has not yet presented a REDD+ strategy.

WASTE

National Urban Solid Waste Management Project (2006)
The Argentine national plan for integral urban solid waste management was a project aimed at developing environmentally and financially sustainable systems for solid waste management. It included bio-gas capture and waste disposal sites construction. It was developed with financial support from the World Bank and was closed in 2015.
Detailed information available on World Bank website.

Law 25,916 National Strategy for Integrated USW Management (2004)
The Law sets the national strategy for integrated urban solid waste management (Estrategia Nacional para la Gestión Integral de Residuos Sólidos Urbanos, ENGIRSU) covering the period 2005 – 2025.
Full document available here.

Law 24,051 National Hazardous Waste Framework (1991)
The law (complemented by regulation 831/1993) imposes generator responsibility/liability for hazardous wastes and covers every phase of waste management: generation, storage, transport, treatment and disposal.
Full document available here.
The provincial governments and the autonomous city of Buenos Aires have the authority to choose whether to adhere to the federal law or implement their own hazardous waste law and regulations. As a result, waste management controls can vary by province.

ENVIRONMENT

Law 26,639 on Minimum Standards for Preservation of Glaciers and Periglacial Environment (2010)
The law includes the creation of a National Inventory of Glaciers and prohibits any activities related to glaciers that affect their natural condition or key functions. Planned activities are subject to a specific procedure, including for instance an environmental impact assessment in order to obtain permission.

Law 25.675 on the Environment (2002)
The General Law on the Environment (Ley General del Ambiente) establishes the legislative framework for promoting the concept of sustainable development and the protection of national environment and biodiversity.
Full document accessible here or as pdf.

CARBON PRICING

Decree 1070/2005 on the Creation of the Argentine Carbon Fund
The decree established the Carbon Fund of Argentina (Fondo Argentino del carbono), which is responsible for the promotion of CDM programmes and projects. This Fund exists under the auspices of the Department of Environment and Sustainable Development. Its objective is to facilitate and provide incentives for the development of CDM projects rather than to provide finance itself.
Full document available here or as pdf.

EDUCATION AND AWARENESS RAISING

Congressional legislation and presidential decrees have mandated that climate change material should be included in the school curricula.

ADAPTATION

Argentina accomodates a significant amount of global biodiversity, resulting from the presence of 18 eco-regions (15 continental, 2 marine and one in Antarctica). But climate change impacts are also relevant for the agircultural sector, which forms a large part of the Argentine economy. Argentina is currently under way to develop and implement a National Adaptation Plan (NAP).

Since 2011, there is an agreement to work together on risk management by the Secretariat of Environment and Sustainable Development, the Ministry of Planning and the Ministry of the Interior, in a coordinated manner, to address the adaptation to climate change impacts, in particular to extreme events such as floods, droughts, heat waves and cold. The three institutions have worked together to develop a Handbook on Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change for Local Planning and Management and they are currently working on risk reduction and climate change.
Full document available here or as pdf.

According to the Argentine NDC initial needs in adaptation are in the areas of data collection, monitoring and other climate services (including early warning systems, the establishment of monitoring networks, mapping of vulnerabilities and risks, and the economic quantification of impacts and adaptation measures), capacity building and coordination, priority activities (financing instruments and risk transfer in the agricultural sector, prevention of extreme events, and initiatives of recovery), and awareness and education.

Moreover, sectoral studies are currently carried out and several projects are already implemented with funds provided by the Adaptation Fund.

 

Main sources:

Argentine Secretaría de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable

Country Profile of Argentinia on the website of the Grantham Institute on Climate Change and the Environment

Climate Action Tracker assessment of Argentina, 2017.

Di Paola, M. and Rivera, I. (2012): ‘Informe Nacional sobre el Estado y Calidad de las Políticas Públicas sobre Cambio Climático y Desarrollo en Argentina Sector agropecuario y forestal’. Available here or as pdf.

Jimeno, M. (2016): ‘Argentina: From an Energy Stalemate Towards Shale Gas Expansion and Creating a Renewables Market’, in: Roehrkasten, S., Thielges, S. and Quitzow, R. (eds.), Sustainable Energy in the G20: Prospects for a Global Energy Transition, Potsdam Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, Potsdam, pp. 12-18.

Ryan, D. (2014): ‘Investigación de la política climática en el sector agropecuario y forestal de diez países de América Latina‘, in Investigación ambiental Ciencia y política pública, Volume 6, Issue 1.

 

International Policy

General features

  • Party to the UNFCCC (non-Annex I):
    • Date of signature: 12 June 1992
    • Date of ratification: 11 March 1994
    • Date of entry into force: 9 June 1994
  • Party to the Kyoto Protocol (country with no emission reduction commitments):
    • Date of signature: 16 March 1998
    • Date of ratification: 28 September 2001
    • Date of entry into force: 16 February 2005
    • Acceptance Doha Amendment: 1 December 2015
  • No signatory of the Copenhagen Accord
    • Argentina declined to make an official pledge to reduce GHG emissions under the Copenhagen Accord as one of only two countries in the G20)
    • However, Argentina submitted a list of unilateral and supported mitigation actions across the sectors energy efficiency, renewable energy, biofuels, forest management and waste management.
  • Party to the Paris Agreement:
    • Date of signature: 22 April 2016
    • Date of ratification: 21 September 2016
    • Date of entry into force: 4 November 2016
  • Post-2020 action:
    • Intended Nationally-Determined Contribution (INDC) submitted in advance of COP21 in Paris (for more information on INDCs see here). Following the ratification and the entry into force of the Paris Agreement, the INDC has become Argentina’s first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC).
      • Unconditional goal of reducing GHG emissions by 15 percent in 2030 with respect to projected BAU emissions
      • Conditional goal of reducing GHG emissions by 30 percent in 2030 with respect to projected BAU emissions under the conditions of a) adequate and predictable international financing; b) support for transfer, innovation and technology development; c) support for capacity building
      • Entire national territory is considered. The included sectors are energy, agriculture, waste, industry, land use change and forestry. Covered GHGs are CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs and SF6.
    • Revised Nationally-Determined Contribution (NDC) submitted as part of ratification of the Paris Agreement
      • Due to a change in government in late 2015, Argentina has revised its NDC when ratifying the Paris Agreement. The scope and coverage remained essentially the same. Compared to the INDC submitted in 2015, Argentina improved its contribution by planning unconditional measures to lower the target to 2030 from 570 to 483 million tCO2eq. However, most of this reduction has to be attributed to a change in methodologies used (2006 IPCC methodologies instead of 1996). The revision of more than 50 unconditional measures and the incorporation of new ambitious measures to the NDC imply only an additional reduction of 8 million tCO2eq (1 percent change in mitigation ambition).
      • Unconditional goal of reducing GHG emissions by 18 percent in 2030 with respect to projected BAU emissions.
      • Conditional goal of reducing GHG emissions by 37 percent in 2030 with respect to projected BAU emissions.
      • The Climate Action Tracker rates Argentina’s unconditional target as ‘inadequate’, while the conditional goal is close to the ‘medium’ rating

Multilateral and bilateral cooperation

  • The new government is seeking to re-establish the relationship with the United States and the European Union. One of the country’s main priorities is to attract national and foreign investment to expand electricity generation capacity.
    • In March 2016, the United States and Argentina decided to take joint steps to fight climate change. The fact sheet issued by the White House stated that the “two governments will cooperate on scaling up renewables, including through U.S. assistance on market reform, system optimization, and integrating renewable energy in the power grid”.
  • The country is also involved in international cooperation in the nuclear energy sector. It has ties particularly with China but also with Russia.
  • Argentina is also partner to the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), an organisation aiming to catalyse the market for renewable energy and energy efficiency, with a primary focus on emerging markets and developing countries established alongside the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. It is now comprised of 400 partners including 45 governments as well as a range of private companies and international organisations.
  • Argentina is a Party to the Union of South American Nations (Unión de Naciones Suramericanas, UNASUR), the organisation promoting regional integration among South American states (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela). It considers the fight against causes and effects of climate change among its objectives, alongside the protection of biodiversity, water resources and cooperating for the prevention of catastrophes.

Negotiating position

Argentina is a member of the G-77 and China as well as the Like-Minded Developing Countries (LMDC).

Historic negotiation positions

Argentina was a major leader on climate change negotiations throughout the 1990s, while during recent years it pursuing a low profile strategy and participation (i.e. Copenhagen and Durban Conferences).

Analyses identified some positions Argentina has defended in the context of climate change negotiations (Franchini, 2011, see sources list below):

  • The multilateral level, specifically the UN scenario, as the appropriate sphere to respond to the climate problem;
  • The national development as an inalienable and priority imperative;
  • The defence of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) expressed in quantitative emission targets for developed countries and NAMAs (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions) for the developing world;
  • The need of technology, financing and investments coming from the developed world to deal with mitigation, adaptation and scientific information systems requirements;
  • The support for the introduction of REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) into the climate change regime.

According to some studies, the origin and development of Argentine climate foreign policy was strongly influenced by the figure of Estrada Oyuela, who had an important role in the construction of the climate regime, since he was chosen as President of the Ad Hoc Group of the Berlin Mandate and was one of the main individual actors responsible for the successfully negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol (Franchini, 2011).

A significant episode occurred in 1998, when the administration of Carlos Menem announced a voluntary emission reduction proposal (the first-of-its-kind for an Non Annex 1 country). The proposal was opposed by the G-77 and China negotiation block and by MERCOSUR countries (especially Brazil, Argentina’s regional strategic partner) and it was not formalised. Analysis suggest that while the episode was “the most important moment for the climate change agenda in the history of Argentina”, it also was “nothing but an anomaly” and is to be explained with the Argentina’s foreign policy strategy of that period, i.e. the Menem’s administration alignment with the US positions (Franchini, 2011).

According to Franchini, 2011, the positions of Argentina respect to international negotiations on climate change in the 2000s and before can be summarised as follows:

Argentina recognizes the seriousness of the climate problem in line with the scientific evidence compiled in the 4th IPCC report and declares a total commitment with the purposes of the Convention. It also states that the dimension of the climate system destabilisation demands a cooperative effort that involves every actor in the international community. However, the Argentine official position rejects the possibility of establishing quantitative emission reduction targets for developing countries and defends the idea that only the developed world is plausible of such mandatory commitments. The only case in which Argentina would accept deepening mitigation actions is through financial and technological support coming from developed countries. To avoid potential negative effects on the country’s economy derived from climate policies in the developed world is one of the main concerns of the argentine negotiators within the Convention – especially regarding climate-based trade barriers in the agriculture sector.

 

Main sources:

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Argentine Secretaria de Ambiente y Desarrollo Sustentable

Matías A. Franchini, Argentina in the International Political Economy of Climate Change, Universidade de Brasilia (Unb), February, 2011. Full document available here.