Framework law to regulate reduction of vulnerability, mandatory adaptation to the effects of climate change, and the mitigation of greenhouse gas effects (Decree of the Congress 7-2013) ( 2013 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

The primary objective of the law is to provide an immediate and co-ordinated response to climate change, in part through the establishment of the National Council of Climate Change presided over by the President of the Republic, and the development of a national adaptation and mitigation plan, as well as institutional adaptation and mitigation strategies…read more

Law on Incentives for Development of Renewable Energy Projects (Decree of the Congress 52-2003) ( 2003 )

The law aims to promote the development of renewable energy projects and establish fiscal, economic and administrative incentives for the sector. It designates the Ministry of Energy and Mines as the body responsible for creating an inventory of renewable resources that can be used to generate energy. In addition, the ministry should also encourage research…read more

National Action Plan for Climate Change ( 2016 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

This Action Plan was adopted by the government in 2016 in application of the 2013 framework law (Congressional Decree 7-2013). The Plan lists the mitigation and adaptation priorities that should be dealt with by public and private institutions. Adaptation efforts should prioritise human health, coastal marine zones, small-scale agriculture, forests, infrastructure and water resources. Mitigation…read more

Energy Policy 2013-2027 ( 2013 )

The Energy Policy 2013-2027 updates the Energy Policy of Guatemala (2008). Its main aim is to “strengthen the country’s competitiveness, and guarantee efficient and sustainable supply and use of energy resources”. Responding to the continuous rise in the share of hydrocarbons in energy use since 1990, the policy prioritises the development and use of renewable…read more

National Biodiversity Policy (Government agreement N.220-2011) ( 2011 )

The effects of climate change on biological diversity and the role of the latter in potential climate change mitigation and adaptation constitute one of the five axes of the National Biological Diversity Policy. Its objective is to “promote the use of biodiversity as a tool for strengthening the mechanisms for adaptation and mitigation of risks…read more

National Cleaner Production Policy (Government agreement N.258-2010) ( 2010 )

It aims to support cleaner and more efficient production in all sectors in order to improve the country’s competitiveness and environmental sustainability. Although not considering climate change mitigation as primary objective, the policy supports development of clean and more efficient technologies, mainstreaming of the cleaner production concept into national legislation, and calls for design of…read more

Climate Change Policy (Government agreement N.329-2009) ( 2009 / Mitigation and adaptation Framework )

The Policy lays out the basis, objectives, entry points, guidelines and legal basis for national climate change adaptation and mitigation. It aims to develop climate change national capacities; promote vulnerability reduction and improvements in adaptation to climate change; and mitigate GHG emissions. The policy was detailed in 2016 with the National Action Plan for Climate…read more

National Integrated Management of Marine Coastal Zones Policy (Government agreement N.328-2009) ( 2009 )

The Policy includes the precautionary principle as one of its guiding principles, aiming at reducing the vulnerability and promoting adaptation and mitigation measures in the coastal areas. Climate change is also one of its nine strategic directions, to be addressed through the following measures: • Harmonise the National Climate Change Strategy with the National Marine…read more

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

11.2% (unconditional) to 22.6% (conditional) reduction in GHG emission by 2030 compared to the BAU scenario

Economy Wide | Baseline Scenario Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: business as usual scenario

Source: NDC

Unconditional reduction of GHG by 11.2% and conditional reduction of 22.6 by 2030 against a 2005 baseline

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 2005 | Source(s): National A... (2016 / Executive)

Industry

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

Energy savings of 25% in industry and commerce sectors by 2027 against a 2013 baseline

Energy Efficiency | Base Year Target | Target year: 2027 | Base year: 2013 | Source(s): Energy Pol... (2013 / Executive)

Reduction of 15% in industrial use of firewood by 2027 against a 2013 baseline

Fuels | Base Year Target | Target year: 2027 | Base year: 2013 | Source(s): Energy Pol... (2013 / Executive)

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies

80% renewable energy by 2030

Renewable Energy | Target year: 2030

Source: NDC

Generation of 500 MW of renewable energy by 2027

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2027 | Base year: 2013 | Source(s): Energy Pol... (2013 / Executive)

80% of electricity from renewable resources by 2027

Renewable Energy | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2027 | Base year: 2013 | Source(s): Energy Pol... (2013 / Executive)

Agriculture

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.

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

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

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.

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.

Health

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.

LULUCF

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.

Transportation

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.

Responsible for less than 0.1% of total global GHG emissions, Guatemala is extremely vulnerable to climate change. In the first (and so far only) national communication to the UNFCCC, issued in 2001, Guatemala highlighted the use of fossil fuels for electricity generation and land use and forest activities as the two largest contributors to the country’s GHG emissions (together 90% of total emissions). To 2050, the document identified the highest risks of climate change as temperature increases; precipitation reduction; expansion of semi-arid areas; and sea level rise.

Since the agreement of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, Guatemala has set up an institutional and legal framework on climate change, with the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources (MARN) taking the lead.

In 2001 the Ministry created an internal unit to address climate change, highlighting the higher profile of climate change in the political agenda. Ever since, the national government has adopted a comprehensive range of policy and other instruments to create a solid political and legal framework to support the response to climate change.

MARN also has responsibility for policy on the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and created the National Clean Development Mechanism Office in 2005. The primary objective of the office is to co-ordinate national measures to implement the instruments and policy guidelines from international conventions and national policies that relate to sustainable development.

In 2008, MARN adopted the National Climate Change Programme to support the ministry in implementing measures adopted under the UNFCCC agreements and other climate related issues. The general objective of the Programme is to promote national, regional and local policies oriented towards reducing the impact of climate change, as well as measuring and reducing GHG emissions.

The 2009 Climate Change National Policy is the core policy document on climate change.  It outlines legal and political basis and sets up the guidelines for the development of national adaptation and mitigation policies. Other policies also support climate change mitigation, such as the National Cleaner Production Policy (2010) and the National Biodiversity Policy (2011).

In late 2013, Congress adopted the Framework law to regulate vulnerability reduction and obligatory adaptation to the effects of climate change and the mitigation of GHG emissions (Climate Change Law). It has established the National Council on Climate Change, a collegial advisory body with public and private participation presided over by the President, which became active in June 2014.

Energy Supply

The current electricity generation mix is around 50% renewables and 50% fossil fuels. The last two decades of economic growth have been largely supported by energy produced from fossil fuels, including, for the first time, coal. In response, the new Energy Policy 2013-2027 (2013) aims to reduce dependence on fossil fuels to generate electricity by significantly increasing the production of renewable energy. The key targets for 2027 include: diversification of energy mix with an 80% renewable energy share target (including installation of 55MW solar capacity); 95% electrification of the country; and electricity exports of at least 300MW into the Regional Electricity Market, mainly to Mexico. Following the implementation of the Energy Policy, a number of projects have been developed, including the inauguration in May 2014 of the Sibo solar PV plant in the east of the country. The power plant – with its 5MW capacity – is one of the largest in Central America.

Energy Demand

The new Energy Policy 2013-2027 includes key targets on energy demand management and related implementation measures. The targets include: a) 25% energy savings in industry and commercial sectors, and b) reduction of firewood use through installation of at least 100,000 efficient stoves, 15% firewood use reduction in the industry sector, and substitution of firewood by other energy sources in 25% of households.

REDD+ and LULUCF

Guatemala has a comprehensive institutional setting responsible for the formulation and management of REDD+ and LULUCF policies. Co-ordinated through the Interagency Co-ordination Group, it includes: a) the National Forest Institute, an independent governmental agency that supervises implementation of the 1996 forest law and promotes research and activities to develop the sector; b) the National Council on Protected Areas; c) the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food; d) Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources. The ‘Climate, Nature and Communities in Guatemala’ project, financed by USAID up to USD25m for 2013-2018, will spend USD5m on REDD+ activities. Since September 2014, Guatemala has been part of the Bonn Challenge and plans to restore over 1.2m ha of forests in valuable areas and more than 5m ha in total. Through other reforestation and conservation activities, it hopes to reduce carbon emissions by 17m tons between 2016 and 2020.

The National Forest Action Plan provides institutional support for the development and assessment of forest-related laws and the Climate Change law includes an article focusing on reduction of emissions from LULUCF. A new PROBOSQUE Law is being considered as continuation of the current forestry incentive programme – PINFOR (which runs until 2016 and includes legal support for small forestry or agroforestry landholders). The PROBOSQUE programme should run for 30 years and seeks to improve compliance with the regulatory and institutional regime, and speed up reforestation and conservation of forests. In addition, the Strategy for Sustainable Uses of Firewood (2013) focuses on reducing firewood consumption in the country (currently around 57% of energy use) and sets the target of cutting the use of firewood by at least 10% by 2020, both through consumption reduction and development of ‘energy forest plantations’. Guatemala also has a Strategy to Combat Illegal Forest Activities and is considering the development of specific regulation for REDD+.

Adaptation

The Global Climate Risk Index 2014 ranks Guatemala among the 10 countries with the highest risks for 1993-2012. The risks include severe flooding in the low areas, prolonged droughts particularly in the ‘dry corridor’, and increased vulnerability of crops to rainfall variability and diseases. Guatemala has not yet adopted a separate national adaptation policy, although adaptation priorities have been identified in a series of official documents. For example, the Integrated Management of Marine Coastal Areas of Guatemala National Policy (2009) has the reduction of vulnerability in the coastal areas as one of its nine strategic directions.

Several adaptation measures are being implemented and the climate change law mandates the creation of a National Action Plan for Adaptation and Mitigation to be developed within a year.

With the assistance of multilateral organisations, such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the UNDP, and other external donors, Guatemala has successfully developed projects that increase the government’s capacity to respond to climate-related natural disasters (capacity building) and assist with development of clean energy, especially in isolated areas (e.g. the above-mentioned  ‘Climate, Nature and Communities’ project). Guatemala has recently assumed the 2014-2016 presidency of the Coalition for Risk Management in Central America, which was created in response to climate change-induced natural disasters, such as Hurricane Stan in 2005. During its presidency, Guatemala aims to concentrate on sharing national experiences for the development of regional policies to reduce natural disaster risks.

To date, Guatemala does not have any litigation listed.

The legislative process is defined by the 1985 Constitution, amended in 1993 by referendum. Guatemala has a unicameral legislative system, with legislative power delegated to the Congress of the Republic. The 158 Members of the Congress are directly elected through universal suffrage for a four year term, with possibility of re-election. The most recent election was held in September 2015, with the next scheduled for 2019.

The right of legislative initiative is attributed to members of Congress, executive bodies (the President), the Supreme Court of Justice, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, and the University of San Carlos. Proposals are submitted to the legislative direction of the Congress and then addressed to a working committee. Following recommendation of the committee, the draft text is discussed at the plenary session, requiring three separate reading sessions. General laws require a simple majority of votes to be approved, but there are exceptions of decrees that may require higher majority of votes.

A bill passed in the Congress requires presidential assent and publication before it is enacted. After the process in the Congress is successfully concluded, the draft is submitted to the government. If it is sanctioned by the president, the law comes into force after being published in the Official Gazette. In the case of presidential veto, the Congress can overturn the decision by a two-thirds majority of votes and send the new law for publication in the Gazette.

Last modified 22 August, 2017