Chile’s New Green Legislation


Chile’s New Green Legislation

Like many countries in the developed world, Chile is keen to protect its natural fauna, flora and native peoples from the impact of irresponsible industrialization. The new laws set out in the Environmental Impact System Regulations brings Chile in line with legislation already in effect in countries like Australia, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States of America.

Chile Environmental Facts

– More than half of Chile’s plant and animal species are found nowhere else on earth
– Forests make up over 21% of the land area
– Chile has the world’s greatest biodiversity of temperate forests
– Is home to the second oldest living organism: the Alerce (over 4000 years old!)


The law proposes two new instruments:

1.         Environmental Impact Statement

A number of potential projects will now legally be required to submit an impact statement prior to work commencing. These projects include (but are not limited to) the constructions of ports, airports, aqueducts, power lines, mining development, oil pipelines, manufacturing facilities, and forestry development.

A consultation process, where necessary, with the indigenous communities is now a requirement. Meetings with the interested parties must be held within 20-30 days of the announcement of the proposed project, and their views, opinions and concerns must be recorded and analysed accordingly.

 2.         Environmental Impact Study

An Environmental Impact Study will only be required should the Impact Statement raise a significant concern. (see below)

When is an Environmental Impact Study Required?

– If there is a significant risk to public health
– When the soil, water or air is threatened with contamination
– When the life of human communities is adversely affected
– When the project is located close to populated areas, conservation sites and other protected areas
– If the project adversely affects the scenic nature of an area
– If the project damages historical or cultural sites


Environmental awareness is growing rapidly. Emerging economies are accommodating their legal frameworks to match the new social and environmental standards that citizens are demanding for. Companies must be aware of the legal obligations arising from the new regulatory frameworks; especially those aiming to conduct resource-intensive projects. In Harris Gomez Group, we help our clients identifying opportunities, managing risks and mitigating reputational costs. In particular, we provide our clients with the following services:

– Advice related to environmental legal obligations when operating in Chile
– Environmental due diligence and compliance assessment
– Advice on the legal aspects of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) procedure and development consent (RCA) issues
– Advice on Provisional Development Consent and Environmental Liability Insurance
– Strategic advice for extractive companies in relation to Indigenous Peoples and ILO Convention No. 169
– Advice on international regulations, standards and criteria in relation to Corporate Social Responsibility (RSE), namely the OECD Guidelines for Multinational – – – Enterprises, Global Compact, Equator Principles, etc
– Assistance in identifying opportunities related to carbon footprint management and GHG offsetting.
– Identification of future challenges and new environmental regulatory trends.

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