Legislation or regulation related to climate change has been particularly difficult to enact. The country experienced a severe recession from 1998 until 2002, and an acute crisis in 2001, after which nearly 60% of the population was plunged into poverty. During the last decade, the federal government’s priority has been economic recovery and growth. Investments necessary to mitigate emissions and adapt to climate change are politically conceived as pitted against social investments in health, education and poverty reduction as in a zero-sum game. As such, Argentina has neither enacted comprehensive legislation related to climate change nor made an official pledge to reduce GHG emissions. It is one of two countries in the G20 that has declined to make such voluntary pledges under the Copenhagen Accord.
In its second report to the UNFCCC (2007), the government maintains that the country is vulnerable to climate change, particularly floods and landslides related to increased rainfall, melting glaciers and increased river flow. Various government-commissioned studies have laid out both mitigation and adaptation strategies; however, the government insists that substantial international funds would be necessary for their implementation. In a public speech before the UNFCCC conference in Copenhagen in 2009, President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner argued that developing countries should set GHG emissions reduction goals that were “humbler” but more feasible, and that wealthy nations that are the principal polluters should set more ambitious reduction goals as well as finance the mitigation and adaptation efforts of poorer nations.
That is not to say, however, that Argentina has made no institutional attempts to respond to climate change. The country ratified the UNFCCC in 1993 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2001. In 2002 a presidential decree replaced the Secretary of Natural Resources and Human Environment with the Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development (SAyDS), which does not hold ministerial status but reports directly to the Executive Cabinet. The SAyDS houses the Direction for Climate Change, which has responsibility for introducing and co-ordinating policies and actions relating to climate change. Other subgroups include the National Advisory Commission on Climate Change, which includes various academic and industry experts, and the Gubernatorial Committee on Climate Change, comprised entirely of government organs and intended to co-ordinate cross-sector government actions.
The comprehensive General Law of Environment states that modules related to the natural environment, protection of natural resources and prevention of pollution must be included in primary and secondary school curricula. Later congressional legislation and presidential decrees have mandated that climate change material (including information about mitigation of emissions and adaptation through individual and collective action) should also be included. In addition to the production of educational materials and curricula for school-aged children, various laws call for “massive public education campaigns” on issues such as pollution and energy efficiency targeted to the general population.
Argentina has made the use of biofuel-blends obligatory for all liquid fuel types used for transportation. Part of legislation meant to promote the production and use of biofuels, regulations for the commercialisation of petrol now mandate that all fuel types must contain a minimum of 5% biodiesel or bioethanol. The Secretary of Energy increased this minimum to 10% by decree in 2013. Similar legislation related to renewable sources of electricity stipulates that by 2016, 8% of all electricity consumed must come from renewable sources. The federal government has laid out several tax benefits and financing and grant schemes to encourage new production of alternative energy and energy efficiency technologies.
Argentina has enacted legislation to reduce energy demand through the promotion of energy efficient practices in the private, public and residential sectors. The policy mechanism through which most energy demand projects are implemented is the National Programme for Rational and Efficient Energy Use, which, according to official estimates, will lead to a 2,400MW reduction in demand for electricity by 2015 and a 28m tonne reduction in CO2 emissions (between 2006 and 2015).
Since the economic crisis of 2001, the federal government has subsidised residential and commercial electricity, gas and water use resulting in some of the lowest energy consumer prices in the continent. In 2011 the Ministry of Economy issued a resolution that ended subsidies to large corporations and residencies deemed to be in “high income” areas in the Buenos Aires metropolitan area (home to 39% of the population) as well as gated communities and country clubs throughout all provinces. While this policy was not directly motivated by climate change, possible effects include a decrease in energy consumption and more competitive price schemes for renewable energies in the future.
In 2005 Argentina created the Argentine Carbon Fund through executive decree. The Fund, financed by The World Bank and administered by The Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Development, has the purpose of trading in carbon credits in order to fund projects within the Clean Development Mechanism of the UNFCCC. According to recent academic review, the Fund acts to advise private sector actors presenting projects for CDM consideration rather than as either a finance mechanism itself or a regulatory body.
REDD+ and LULUCF
According to a National Native Forest Inventory completed in 2005, deforestation is increasing, amounting to 1.22% yearly loss. In 2007, Congress passed a law establishing a general framework for forest conservation. One mechanism through which this legislation aims to safeguard carbon sequestration is to pay landowners to preserve forests on private property. Between 2010 and 2014, USD300m was invested in these local preservation initiatives.
Argentina became a member of the UN REDD programme in 2009. The programme has a budget of USD3.59m beginning in 2014. Still in the early stages of implementation, the “Roadmap for Readiness” has four objectives: (i) to draft a REDD+ National Strategy, (ii) to establish a National Forest Reference Emissions Level, (iii) to strengthen the National Forest Monitoring System, and (iv) to develop a Safeguard Informational System.
Law no 27424 creating the Promotion Regime for Distributed Generation of Renewable Energy Integrated in the Public Electricity Grid ( 2017 / no Framework )This law is aimed at setting the policies and establish the legal and contractual conditions for the generation of electric power from renewable sources by users of the national grid, for self-consumption with eventual injection of surpluses to the network. The law also establish the obligation of the main energy providers to facilitate such injection,…read more
Law 27191 on Renewable Energy ( 2015 )The Law builds on and updates the Regimen for the National Promotion for the Production and Use of Renewable Sources of Electric Energy established by the Law 26.190, and extends the regimen for the period 2018-2025. It sets national renewable energy targets, establishes a fund for financing renewable energy projects, and defines minimum renewable requirements for large…read more
Law 26.190 Regimen for the National Promotion for the Production and Use of Renewable Sources of Electric Energy ( 2007 )The Law, as updated in October 2015, builds on the concept of production of electricity from renewable energy sources as a matter of national interest. It requires that by 31 December 2017, 8% of all electricity consumed nationally must be generated from renewable energy sources. The law directs the executive power to co-ordinate a Federal…read more
Law 26.093 (2006) Regimen of Regulation and Promotion of the Production and Sustainable Use of Biofuels ( 2006 )The object of the law is to provide a regulatory framework for the production and promotion of biofuels. The law creates and defines the authority of a federal regulatory entity, The National Advisory Commission for the Promotion of the Production and Sustainable Use of Biofuels, delineates the chemical definitions of biodiesel and bioethanol and provides…read more
Law 25.019 Declaring a national interest to generate electricity from wind and solar energy ( 1998 )This law is an early precursor to 2010 legislation promoting renewable energy. It declares wind and solar power a national interest and created the Renewable Energy Fund to encourage production.…read more
Decree 140/2007: Presidential decree declaring rational and efficient energy use a national priority ( 2007 )This decree has far-reaching and ambitious goals to reduce energy consumption and promote the use of renewable energy in the public sector (including public transport and lighting), private industry and private residencies. The decree’s main purpose is to announce a National Program for Rational and Efficient Energy Use, to guarantee funding for the program in…read more
Emissions More information
|Rank as emitter (including LULUCF):|| |
|Country-reported GHG emissions (incl. LULUCF) (MTCO2):||238.7 (reporting year: 2000 )|
|Country-reported GHG emissions (excl. LULUCF) (MTCO2):||282 (reporting year: 2000 )|
Information More information
|GHG inventory:||1990, 1994, 1997, 2000|
|Climate risk assessment:||2nd National Communication to UNFCCC, 2009|
Economy wide targets - Up to (and including) 2020Source:
Economy-wide targets - Beyond 2020
GHG emissions reduction of 15% to 30% by 2030 compared to business-as-usual scenario, conditional on external support.Source:
Targets - Energy demand
Targets - LULUCF
Targets - Renewables
Generate 8% of electricity from renewable sources by 2017Source:
All gasoline produced and consumed in Argentina must be composed of no less than 5% biofuel by 2010Source:
GHG Mitigation framework More informationSource:
Adaptation framework More informationSource:
Policies - Carbon pricing
Argentine Carbon FundSource:
Policies - Promotion of low-carbon energy (inc. renewables)
Minimum requirements of renewables in electric energy generation matrixSource:
Policies - Energy demand
Energy efficiency national plan and fundingSource:
Policies - Transport
Minimum biofuel requirements in gasoline productionSource:
Policies - LULUCF
Argentina (officially The Argentine Republic) is a federal republic with a bicameral congress. The National Congress is composed of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies. Each of the 23 provinces (and the autonomous federal capital, Buenos Aires) elects three senators (two from the majority party and one from the first minority) for a total of 72 senators. The 257 representatives of the Chamber of Deputies are elected by congressional districts based on proportional representation. The last legislative elections were held in October 2015 and the next is expected for 2019.
Legislative proposals are called law projects and are generally introduced in the Chamber of Deputies before debate and vote in the Senate. To become law, all bills must be passed by both congressional bodies and signed by the President, who acts as both head of state and head of government.
A law project is first drafted, proposed and debated in legislative committees in the Chamber of Deputies. Often included in the committee debate is expert testimony. Once the proposal has passed the relevant legislative committee, it is officially presented and debated by all deputies, and amendments may be considered. Once passed by both chambers of congress, the President promulgates, vetoes or partially vetoes the legislation within 10 working days. A presidential veto can be overridden with a two thirds majority in both chambers of congress.
Argentina is a federal republic made up of 23 provinces and an autonomous national capital city. Each province elects its own governor and congress and is granted significant authority over the running of its territory. While federal law usurps provincial law, many of the laws passed by National Congress and enacted by the President are written to coexist with provincial law. Some provinces have passed legislation directly or indirectly related to climate change. Article 41 of the Argentine National Constitution declares the importance of the natural environment and its protection from contamination a national priority. It considers “enjoyment” of the natural environment an individual and cultural right. Constitutionally, each province has the gubernatorial authority to legislate and control its natural resources; however, the national government is granted authority to establish norms and standards for the protection of the environment.
Federal Decree 1070. Boletin Oficial de la Republica Argentina. 5 September 2005.
Federal Decree 140/2007. Boletin Oficial de la Republica Argentina. 21 December 2007.
InfoLEG (2006). Ley 26.190 – Regimen de Fomento Nacional para el uso de fuentes renovables de energía destinada a la producción de energía eléctrica. Available at:
https://www.iea.org/media/pams/argentina/PAMS_Argentina_LawonREincentives.pdf Accessed 25 October 2015.
InfoLEG (2015). Ley 27191- Modificación de la Ley 26190: Régimen de Fomento Nacional para el uso de Fuentes Renovables de Energía destinada a la Producción de Energía Eléctrica. Available at: http://www.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/250000-254999/253626/norma.htm. Accessed 25 October 2015.
Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (2010).Régimen de Presupuestos Mínimos para la Preservación de los Glaciares y del Ambiente Periglacial. Available at: http://infoleg.mecon.gov.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/170000-174999/174117/norma.htm. Accessed 12 February 2016.
National Strategy for Climate Change, n.d. (Estratégia Nacional en Cambio Climático). Comité Gubernatmental Sobre Cambio Climatico. http://www.ambiente.gov.ar. Accessed 15 December 2012.
Policy 26093. Regimen of Regulation and Promotion of the Production and Sustainable Use of Biofuels (Régimen de Regulación y Promoción para la Producción y Uso Sustentables de Biocombustibles). Boletin Oficial de la Republica Argentina. 12 May 2006.
Policy 26123. Boletin Oficial de la Republica Argentina. 25 August 2006.
Policy 26.190. Regimen for the National Promotion for the Production and Use of Renewable Sources of Electric Energy. (Regimen de Fomento Nacional para el Uso de Fuentes Renovables de Energía Destinada a la Producción de Energía Elétrica). Boletin Oficial de la Republica Argentina. 2 January 2007.
Policy 26473. Boletin Oficial de la Republica Argentina. 31 December 2010.
Resolution 1125/2013. Secretary of Energy in the Ministry of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services. 2013. Available online at: http://www.infoleg.gob.ar/infolegInternet/anexos/220000-224999/224799/norma.htm
Rocha, L. (2015). Para 2017, el 8% de la generación eléctrica argentina deberá ser de energías renovables. La Nacion. Available online at: http://www.lanacion.com.ar/1831948-para-2017-el-8-de-la-generacion-electrica-argentina-debera-ser-de-energias-renovables. Accessed 25 October 2015.
Second National Communication to the UNFCCC (Segunda Comunicaciéion Nacional de la República Argentina a la Convenciéon Marco de las Naciones Unidas sobre Cambio Climático), 2007. http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/natc/argnc2s.pdf. Accessed 15 December 2012.