SANTIAGO, CHILE — El Palacio de la Moneda, or La Moneda Palace, is one of the most historically important buildings in Santiago, Chile. While it was originally intended to be a colonial coin mint, it is now the presidential palace of Chile. La Moneda also houses the offices of three cabinet ministers: Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, General Secretariat of the Presidency and General Secretariat of the Government. La Moneda occupies an entire block in downtown Santiago. The parliamentary building is open to the public for tours.
The Republic of Chile is a renowned global leader in sustainable development and has a history of ambitious carbon goals. In 2019, the UN Climate Change Conference COP25 was held in Santiago.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change also appointed Carolina Schmidt, Chile’s Minister of Environment, as president of COP25. In June 2020, Chile was ranked 27th in the Global Sustainability Index.
In alignment with the government’s ongoing commitment to net zero emissions by 2050, the staff at La Moneda Palace installed an LFC-300 biodigester in 2019. Through the use of waste reduction on their premise, the government of Chile could raise awareness on how reducing waste at a local level could have a national impact. In 2019, the LFC-300 biodigester at La Moneda Palace diverted nearly 24000 kilograms of organic waste from the landfill.
History of Climate Commitment
Chile faces numerous environmental issues, including pollution from air, water, noise, garbage, and soil degradation. The capital of Santiago lies in a basin that traps pollutants and dust inside. Poor solid waste management has led to unregulated dumping. Overflowing landfills and informal dump yards have consumed usable farmland. In the recent decade, Chile faced a social revolt which highlights the citizen’s demand for sustainable practices and changes.
Under the COP25 Presidency, Chile delivered its updated climate commitment (NDC) to the international community, in which the country has set out to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change appointed Carolina Schmidt, Chile’s Minister of Environment, as president of COP25. A study has shown that the pollution mitigation policy, if successfully executed, would have a positive short term and long term impact on the economy.
Despite setbacks from the pandemic, Chile has remained as one of Latin America’s fastest growing economies. Chile has been viewed as a model to align government, public and private sector, and citizen interest in driving sustainable initiatives. In Chile, La Moneda Palace is considered the equivalent of the White House in the United States. Any new policies instituted at La Moneda Palace would carry far beyond the city limits of Santiago.
Waste Reduction at El Palacio de la Moneda
Through Energia On, Power Knot’s premier partner in Latin America, La Moneda Palace was able to acquire and install an LFC-300 biodigester. La Moneda Palace had high traffic due to usage from government officials and public tours as a historically significant building. In 2019, the biodigester successfully diverted nearly 24000 kilograms of organic waste from the landfill. The biodigester remained in operation through part of 2020 until the inevitable full lockdown and stay at home order from rising COVID cases went into effect.
“Our principal objective is to reduce our negative impact on the environment, through many different and integrated actions, to help eliminate waste on our planet,” said Susana Soto, administrative department officer at La Moneda Palace. “We hope to raise awareness about sustainable living by sending a clear message that today we must start working for the future so that our children and grandchildren have a tomorrow as promising as the one we inherited yesterday.”
About La Moneda Palace
El Palacio de la Moneda, or La Moneda Palace, is one of the most historically important buildings in Santiago, Chile. While it was originally intended to be a colonial coin mint, it is now the presidential palace of Chile. La Moneda also houses the offices of three cabinet ministers: Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, General Secretariat of the Presidency and General Secretariat of the Government.