Organic Law on energy efficiency ( 2019 )

The Organic law on Energy Efficiency aims to establish a legal framework and operating regime of the National Energy Efficiency System - SNEE, and promote the efficient, rational and sustainable use of energy in all its forms, in order to increase the country's energy security; by being more efficient, increasing energy productivity, promoting the competitiveness…read more

Organic Code on the Environment ( 2017 )

The Organic Code on the Environment was published in the Official Register on 12 April 2017, and will enter into full force in one year. It aims to guarantee the right of people to live in a healthy and ecologically balanced environment, as well as to protect the "rights of nature" recognized in the Constitution of…read more

Organic Law on the Public Service of Electricity ( 2015 )

Ecuador's new Electricity Law, adopted 16 January 2015, explicitly states the objective of promoting renewable energy sources (including biomass from solid waste) and energy efficiency, and makes the state the key actor in the electricity industry. The Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy (MEER) oversees renewable energy policy and planning. The generation, transmission, distribution and commercialisation…read more

National Plan for energy efficiency 2016-2035 ( 2017 )

This plan sets Ecuador's plan for energy efficiency over the period 2016-2035. It seeks to increase the efficient use of energy resources through the execution of energy efficiency programs and projects in sectors related to the supply and demand of energy, in order to reduce the import of petroleum products, contribute to the mitigation of…read more

Ministerial Accord No. 089 on Regulation for NAMAs ( 2013 )

The Decree establishes the National Authority for Implementation of Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) developed in co-ordination with the UNDP. This Authority is chaired by the Minister of Environment while the Undersecretary of Climate Change is in charge of implementing the registry. The NAMA registration is compulsory and is part of the National Environment Information…read more

Ministerial Accord No. 33 on REDD ( 2013 )

The Ministerial Accord sets out the regulations for the implementation of the REDD mechanism in Ecuador.…read more

National Plan for Well Living (2013-2017) ( 2013 )

The National Plan for Good Living (2013-2017) sets out to ensure sustainable management of Ecuador's resources and biodiversity, and develop strategies for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change (Objective 7). This plan aims to implement the Constitution, which remarkably defines nature as a rights-bearing entity, which “has the right to exist, persist, maintain…read more

Biodiesel mandate (Executive Decree No. 1303) ( 2012 )

The Decree introduces a 5% biodiesel mandate for the Diesel Premium used in the automotive sector, to be progressively increased until 10%.…read more

National Strategy on Climate Change (Ministerial Accord No. 095) ( 2012 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

The Executive Decree no 1815 resulted in adoption of the National Strategy on Climate Change 2012-2025 in July 2012. The strategy is based on several guiding principles, including: Regional and international co-operation; Consistency with international principles; Priority to local implementation; Environmental integrity; Citizen participation; Protection of vulnerable groups and ecosystems; and Inter-generational responsibility. The strategy…read more

Programme RENOVA (Executive Decree No. 676; Executive Decree No. 741) ( 2012 )

Programme RENOVA is one of the projects aiming to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency in Ecuador. RENOVA concerns the transport and equipment sectors and aims to assist replacement of more than 300,000 inefficient refrigerators and more than 20,000 inefficient vehicles by 2015. The replacement of inefficient vehicles is mainly supported through exoneration from…read more

Executive Decree No.004/11 on Feed-in Tariff for non-conventional renewable energy sources ( 2011 )

The Decree re-introduced a Feed-in Tariff (FiT) for non-conventional renewable energy sources (PV, wind, solar thermal, biogas, geothermal) with a capacity below 50MW. PV-technology receives the highest tariff (USD0.40/kWh on the continent, USD0.44/kWh on the Galapagos Islands), valid for 15 years. These tariffs are reserved only for non-conventional renewable energy projects selected by the government…read more

Executive Decree No. 495 on the creation of an Inter-Institutional Committee on Climate Change ( 2010 )

This Decree provides for the co-ordination of climate change policies and actions via the creation of an Inter-institutional Committee on Climate Change. It is aimed at co-ordinators from Ministries and Secretariats that handle this inter-sectoral approach. Members are: National Secretariat of State Planning and Development; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Secretariat of Higher Education, Science; Technology…read more

Executive Decree No. 1815 ( 2009 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

Decree No. 1815 defines climate change adaptation and mitigation as government policy. It recognises adaptation and mitigation to climate change as a state policy, closing the National Climate Committee and transferring its power to the Ministry of Environment. The Secretary of Climate Change is in charge of oversight of this policy and the issue more…read more

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

20.4-25% (unconditional) to 37.5-45.8% (conditional) reduction in emissions in the energy sector by 2025 compared to the BAU scenario, equivalent to 40% reduction (conditional) in emissions per capita by 2025 compared to the BAU levels.

Economy Wide | Baseline Scenario Target | Target year: 2025 | Base year: business as usual scenario

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies

4.3 million induction stoves

Clean Cooking And Heating: Efficient Cookstoves

More than 50% of electricity coming from hydroelectric plant or other renewable sources by 2013

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2013 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): National S... (2012 / Executive)

90% of clean energy from hydro power in total electricity production in 2017; 2,828 MW additional electric generation from hydro power to the BAU by 2025; 4,382 MW additional electric generation from hydro power to the BAU by 2025

Renewable Energy: Hydro | Target year: 2025

6% of electricity will come from non-conventional renewable energy under obligation

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: N/A | Base year: N/A | Source(s): Executive ... (2011 / Executive)

-37.5-45.8% emission below BAU by 2025 in the energy sector (translates to -40% emissions per capita compared to BAU by 2025)

Energy: General | Target year: 2025

Source: NDC

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies

To restore 500,000 additional hectares until 2017 and increase total by 100,000 hectares per year until 2025

Sustainable Forest Management | Target year: 2025

20,000 hectares of native vegetation are reforested or restores for carbon storage purposes by 2013 against a 2009 baseline

Afforestation | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2013 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): National S... (2012 / Executive)

500,000 ha restoration by 2017; 100,000 additional ha by 2025

Sustainable Forest Management | Target year: 2025

Source: NDC

At least 100,000 hectares of native species vegetation are recovered through restoration and reforestation by 2013 against a 2009 baseline

Afforestation | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2013 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): National S... (2012 / Executive)

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

10% less GHG emissions from agricultural lands which use fertilisers, as a result of alternative, less polluting fertilisers by 2013 against a 2009 baseline

General | Base Year Target | Target year: 2013 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): National S... (2012 / Executive)

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

35% of households will live in housing that is inadequate for resist climate change impacts or is in disaster risk areas by 2013 against a 2009 baseline

Disaster Preparedness | Target year: 2013 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): National S... (2012 / Executive)

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

40% less cases of malaria derived in large part from climate changes consequences by 2013 against a 2009 baseline

Adaptation | Base Year Target | Target year: 2013 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): National S... (2012 / Executive)

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

Diesel fuel to contain up to 5% of biodiesel by 2013, and to reach 10% later on

Biofuels | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2013 | Base year: N/A | Source(s): Biodiesel ... (2012 / Executive)

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies

Strengthen adaptive capacity in at least 50% of the most vulnerable cantons of the national territory, establish EWS and risk management at all the levels of the government and reach a zero rate of deforestation.

Capacity Building And Knowledge Transfer

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

With its diverse range of natural environments, from coastal plain to high mountains to the Amazon rainforest, Ecuador is expected to experience a range of impacts due to climate change. As a relatively small middle-income country, Ecuador does not support emissions targets for developing countries that do not cause large anthropogenic emissions. Nonetheless, adaptation to and mitigation of climate change is now a government objective. The constitution states that Ecuador “will adopt climate change mitigation policies” and promotes the development and adoption of clean technology.

The Ministry of the Environment is charged with awareness raising and developing institutional co-operation on climate change, notably through the Inter-institutional Climate Change Committee. It oversees commitments to the UNFCCC and the CDM and is taking the lead in preparing and executing the National Strategy for Climate Change, as per Decree 1815. This decree establishes the preparation and execution of the National Strategy for Climate Change, the benchmark for climate change actions, covering the period 2012-2025.

The National Climate Change Strategy is comprehensive and ambitious, and fits into broader development strategy. It aims to protect the country’s biodiversity, which Ecuador sees as a fundamental resource for health and well-being. The strategy is highly integrated across other policy areas: sectors that are prioritised in the National Plan for Good Living are also given priority in the National Strategy for Climate Change in order to provide policy coherence. These priority areas are: agriculture and livestock security; development of fishing and aquaculture; maintenance of water supply and natural ecosystems; development of tourism; improvement of infrastructure and robustness of human settlements.  The strategy is one component of a broader series of measures under the new constitution that are being put in place to foster more sustainable development in Ecuador.

The Climate Strategy takes particular note of the decentralised nature of the government, and the rights and abilities of regional governments to participate in action on climate change. It also recognises the role of civil society in climate change policy making and action, with specific reference to a 2011 law concerning the participation of civil society in governance.

The Climate Strategy has three implementing plans. The National Plan for the Creation and Strengthening of Institutional Conditions is to be developed by the office of Undersecretary for Climate Change, whose remit is to facilitate adaptation and mitigation by developing national institutional capacity. It also co-ordinates the development of the two other envisaged climate action-oriented plans: the Climate Change Mitigation Plan and the Climate Change Adaptation Plan. These should generate and implement actions and measures for climate change adaptation and mitigation across Ecuador and are currently being discussed.

The related National Plan for Good Living (2013-2017) aims to ensure sustainable management of resources and biodiversity, and develop strategies for the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change (Objective 7). This plan sits alongside the National Environmental Policy which similarly is designed to ensure the well-being of Ecuadorians. These policies are faithful to the Constitution which remarkably defines nature as a rights-bearing entity, which “has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its evolutionary processes.”

In order to develop the knowledge and scientific capacity to deal with climate change, Ecuador has developed a number of research facilities that undertaking targeted research, such as the International Centre for Research on El Niño that provides a regional perspective on the west of South America and the National Institute of Meteorology and Hydrology.

Energy supply

Ecuador’s recent economic growth is partially the result of fossil fuel extraction, with exports of around 250,000 barrels of crude oil a day. It is hoped that the development of new domestic refining capacity will reduce oil derivative imports, slow domestic oil price increases and hence reduce inflationary pressure. The development of the sector has been aided by international investment and direct budgetary assistance, particularly from China through PetroEcuador. On the other hand, the climate change impacts from oil exports are partially reflected in the ‘ecotax’ imposed on the importers of the oil.

Dependency on fossil fuels for growth represents a challenge for climate change mitigation and adaptation, as it does for other countries. Ecuador faces the realities of being a middle-income country trying to develop its resources to achieve economic growth. Within the context of a broader development vision, the government is seeking to finance improved service provision and infrastructure that will both improve quality of life and be robust to climate change impacts, but without exacting too high a cost on the environment.

An example of the challenges of reconciling sustainable development and tackling climate change is the Yasuni National Park in the Amazonian region, which has long been known to contain large oil reserves in the Ishpingo-Tambococha-Tiputini fields. Since these reserves are in an environmentally sensitive area and a national park, President Correa introduced a moratorium preventing planned drilling here. He offered to pay 50% of the projected site revenues to offset the opportunity costs of keeping the oil in the ground. Only USD13m of the USD3.6bn required to do this was raised from the international community, so exploitation was authorised in 2013.

However, the government acknowledges the challenges of managing development impacts on the environment, and is taking action to achieve more sustainable development. Under Objective 10 of the National Plan for Good Living, the government is promoting innovation and diversification of the economy away from natural resource dependency and diversification of the energy mix within the National Climate Change Strategy.

The focus in the energy sector is to reduce net emissions through increased efficiency in production of electricity and to promote the development of renewable energies including hydro-electric and solar power. The National Electricity Board (CONELEC) launched a feed-in tariff scheme in 2011 to support the development of solar photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, biomass, biogas and hydro-energy. With eight new hydro-electric plants to be constructed by 2017, Ecuador aims to obtain 93% of its electricity from hydro-electric power (more than 50% already generated in 2012).

Energy demand

A number of projects have been implemented to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency. Those include ‘Programme INNOVA Ecuador’ that assists uptake of energy efficient technologies in different industry sectors, ‘Programme RENOVA’ that led to the replacement of more than 100,000 inefficient refrigerators and more than 20,000 inefficient vehicles by 2015, and projects that support energy efficiency measures in urban zones. In 2013, around 50% of public buildings designed energy savings plans and started implementing them. The National Plan for Good Living (2013) also includes a number of quantitative targets and goals for increasing energy efficiency and reducing energy consumption by 2025 (intermediate goals 2017). Additional measures to reduce GHG emissions exist in transportation, where a biodiesel blend mandate of 5% was introduced in 2012.

REDD+ and LULUCF

As a country that was once heavily forested, and where deforestation levels are still quite high, climate change mitigation is centred upon the reduction of deforestation and degradation, and forest restoration through REDD+, with deforestation being considered as both a social and environmental problem. The main drivers of deforestation are the expansion of agricultural land, for the raising of cattle in particular. Deforestation is addressed under the National Plan for Good Living; Forest Conservation Incentives Programme; Sustainable Livestock Programme; and the REDD+ National Programme. Through the diverse measures, Ecuador aims to reforest 500m ha of native forests on the national level by 2017 (already reforested around 46,200 ha over 2008-2012).

Adaptation

Ecuador is especially vulnerable to climate change impacts due to rising temperatures, natural disasters (landslides, floods), and reduced hydropower resources related to glacier retreat. It seeks to decrease its vulnerability through a number of adaptation projects, including the Climate Change & Water Governance Programme that promotes vulnerability studies, climate change resilient land planning, implementation of local strategies for climate change adaptation, and building institutional capacities, and is partly funded by the GEF; the Adaptation to Glacier Retreat and Moorland Conservation Programme that aims to enhance the resilience of Andean ecosystems, and to help local economies adapt to climate change impacts and glacier retreat.

Advisory opinion No 016-13-DTI-CC (Opened in 2013 )

Citation/reference number: Advisory Op. No 016-13-DTI-CC
Jurisdiction: Ecuador
Core objective(s): The Ecuadorian Constitutional Court is asked to review the constitutionality of a bilateral treaty on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development between Ecuador and Peru.
Current status: Decided

The Ecuadorian Constitutional Court is asked to review the constitutionality of a bilateral treaty on climate change, biodiversity and sustainable development between Ecuador and Peru. The court considered that the treaty was in line with the constitution and that its provisions abide the spirit of the constitution. However, the court recalled that for the procedure…read more

Ecuador was the first Latin American country to successfully move from military rule to a multi-party decentralised democracy based on the rule of law, following a referendum in 1978. However the Republic has endured recurrent periods of political instability during the past decade that have eroded the strength of the state, and weakened the public sector. Historically there has been little co-operation between political parties and the political instability is reflected in the fact that few recent leaders have finished their term in office: there were seven Presidents between 1996 and 2007.

These factors contributed to Ecuador’s constitution being rewritten in 2008, the country’s 20th such change. In 2009 the unicameral 137-seat National Assembly was created, which replaced the Legislative Commission. Assembly members were last elected in 2013 by popular vote for a four-year term on a party list proportional representation system. The next election is scheduled for 2017. The new constitution also allows the president and vice-president to be elected for four-year terms. The president in turn appoints a 38-member cabinet. These changes appear to have heralded a new period of political stability, with the incumbent President being re-elected in early 2013.

In the judiciary, the National Court of Justice is elected by an independent body of professionals, the Judiciary Council. Judges are elected for nine years. Candidates for the Constitutional Court are selected by the president, government officials and the Supreme Court, with the judges finally appointed by the National Assembly for two-year terms.

Last modified 21 September, 2017