Chile

Grez et al. v. Environmental Evaluation Service of Chile

Jurisdiction: Chile


Principle law(s): National Climate Change Adaptation Plan,National Climate Change Action Plan (2008-2012; 2017-2022),National Strategy on Forests and Climate Change 2017-2025


Side A: Gabriela Simonetti Grez and others (Individual)


Side B: Environmental Evaluation Service of Chile (Government)


Core objectives:

Claimants challenge environmental impact assessment of proposed coal blasting project for failure to consider climate impacts.


Summary
Plaintiffs challenged the environmental impact assessment of a proposed coal blasting project for failure to consider climate impacts. The environmental court of Valdivia blocked the project on other grounds. In November 2018 claimants brought suit to challenge the environmental impact assessment of the proposed project "Incorporation of blasting as a complementary method in the mechanical extraction of sterile material in the Winter Mine." The Commission for Environmental Assessment of the Magallanes Region and the Chilean Antarctic had initially deemed the project's declaration of environmental impacts to be environmentally unfavorable. When the mine operator challenged this conclusion, the Executive Director of the Commission of Environmental Assessment reversed the decision, determining that the project was environmentally favorable. 

Claimants asked the court to reinstated the initial determination. They argued that the final environmental impact statement failed to consider the climate impacts of coal blasting in violation of Chile's commitments under international law, including the Paris Agreement, as well as the preventive principle. The plaintiffs further asserted the need to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, and in particular coal, on a global level in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In August 2019 the court issued a decision. The court acknowledged that climate change is a global problem, but concluded that Chile's international commitments do not impose a legal requirement to consider climate change in environmental impact assessments. The court annulled the environmental impact assessment on other grounds, in a decision that the operator has appealed.
Case documents

Related laws and policies
  • This law implements Chile legislation
    National Climate Change Adaptation Plan

    Passed in 2014 Executive

    The National Climate Change Adaptation Plan provides the overall framework for the coordination of adaptation activities of different sectors and different territorial administrative levels. Its principal objectives are: 1. Establish the conceptual framework for adaptation in Chile. 2. Establish ...

  • This law implements Chile legislation
    National Climate Change Action Plan (2008-2012; 2017-2022)

    Passed in 2008 Executive

    The Action Plan is intended as a short-term measure designed to generate key information that will be used to prepare longer-term national and sector-specific adaptation and mitigation plans. The Plan includes both situation analysis and strategic considerations as its base, and details of action...

  • This law implements Chile legislation
    National Strategy on Forests and Climate Change 2017-2025

    Passed in 2013 Executive

    The National Strategy on Forests and Climate Change aims to link Chile´s forestry initiatives with existing carbon market, specifically through the generation and commercialization of emission reduction certificates (carbon credits), operationalized through the 'Platform for Generation and Tradin...

from the Grantham Research Institute
from the Grantham Research Institute
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