Six Interesting Things About Uruguay’s Second Batch of Paris Targets (2)

Uruguay has published 2030 climate targets under the Paris agreement, known as nationally determined contributions.

CarrZee: I’m not sure they are ambitious enough, and indeed they may be less ambitious than previously. See emphasised sections.

The document is in Spanish, so happy to be guided by readers to better ground, on this document (see below).


Methane (CH4) makes up more than half of the nation’s heat-trapping gas output.

Country has an unconditional target to reduce by 35% the intensity of CH4 emissions per unit of product (Gg of beef in live weight) by 2030 versus 1990.

This appears to be tighter than the target in its first contribution (published 2017) for a 32% reduction by the earlier year of 2025 (see below).

Country has conditional target to reduce by extra 2% the intensity of CH4 emissions per unit of product (Gg of beef in live weight) by 2030. (Spanish readers check me)

Context by chart

Methane Emissions

Total GHG Emissions

For further context, see this from IISD (warning, it’s from 2017):

Reducing Emissions of Enteric Methane from Dairy and Beef Production in Uruguay

In Uruguay, methane emissions from beef production account for 55% of the country’s GHG emissions. Uruguay’s NDC therefore includes a specific target to reduce enteric methane intensity per kilogram of beef by 33% to 43% by 2030.

[CarrZee note – the document published in December 2022 appears to include a 2030 target that is less ambitious than the 43% stated immediately above.]

To achieve this reduction, the country is partnering with the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC), the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) to implement the project titled, ‘Reducing Enteric Methane for Improving Food Security and Livelihoods.’ The project aims to transform the ruminant production systems of resource-poor framers to increase livestock productivity, while reducing GHG emissions.

These dual objectives can be achieved through a combination of herd and health management, nutrition and feeding management strategies, and genetics. These measures are estimated to reduce emissions intensity by 23%-42%. The approach contributes both to climate action (SDG 13) and to improving food security and promoting sustainable agriculture (SDG 2).[CCAC Press Release][FAO Project Website – Reducing Enteric Methane for improving food security and livelihoods]


The unconditional CO2 2030 target is fixed rather than set as a volume of emissions per unit of GDP.


The unconditional CO2 2030 target of 9.3 million tons is 37% higher than the 2021 level according to the data below.


CarrZee: Arguably this is not ambitious enough. Still, it’s not a big deal that Uruguay’s CO2 emissions are rising over the next 8 years when global emissions should be plunging by half — assuming Uruguay has not used its fair share of the global carbon budget as defined by the 1.5C target in the Paris climate deal.

Uruguay could make use of carbon trading to attract finance and develop on an even cleaner path, which will bring health and tourism benefits.


Achievement of the CO2 target is conditional on no drought.

See this (Google translate):

*The CO2 objective may be adjusted based on the hydraulic conditions of the year 2030, as detailed in chapter 8 of this CDN, since the availability of hydroelectric energy has a very important relative weight in the electrical matrix of the country and is directly affected by climate change and variability


The CO2 target for 2030 would be tighter by 960,000 tons, conditional on extra finance


These appear to be additional 2030 targets

Increase the area of ​​native forest by 5% vs 2012 (42,498 ha)
Increase by 10% the area of ​​forest plantations destined for shade and shelter vs 2018, including silvopastoral systems (8,835 ha)
Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) in Grasslands: Incorporation of good management practices for the natural range and the breeding herd in 2,500,000 ha of natural pastures 

"Finally, in relation to the Cropland category, it is proposed to maintain soil organic carbon (SOC) in the crop area that is under Soil Use and Management Plans (PUMS) in the year 2030 and that have more than 30% of the rotation length with pastures and increase the COS [SOC?] in the surface of crops under PUMS in the year 2030 that have more than 60% of the rotation length with pastures.

"This objective is relevant for Uruguay considering that practically the entire agricultural area of ​​the country is under PUMS, mandatory by law since 2013, which require a rotation of crops tending to avoid the degradation of the soils suitable for agriculture, prevent erosion and promote production systems based on crop rotations and/or crop-pastures that manage to maintain higher levels of organic matter in the soil compared to the traditional monoculture practice, improve productivity and water storage capacity and reduce the risk of erosion in the event of extreme precipitation events."
(Google Translate)

[CarrZee -- these targets could absorb a lot of CO2, eg by careful use of biochar]


First NDC 2017

Earlier indicated NDC Documents/Uruguay/1/INDC Uruguay (English-unofficial translation).pdf

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