In August 2018, Carolina Schmidt was named Chile’s Minister of the Environment with a clear proposition: the only way to truly achieve sustainable development is by mainstreaming care and respect for the environment. Her message is crosscutting: climate action and economic development are not mutually exclusive but, on the contrary, are two sides of the same coin.
Minister Schmidt is also President of COP25 and, in that role, is leading to push the international climate action agenda and calling on all countries to submit more ambitious NDCs, as stipulated by the Paris Agreement.
Leading by example, early in 2020 during the Covid-19 Pandemic, she presented Chile’s enhanced NDC, with strong ambition in mitigation and adaptation and a social pillar, which addresses all commitments in line with the SDGs.
As President of COP25, she launched with the UN Secretary General, the UNFCCC and the UNDP the Climate Ambition Alliance, the world’s largest ever coalition of countries and non-state actors committed to carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest.
Among the priorities for her administration, she has overseen the approval of a law banning single- use plastic bags in retail and the introduction of a new bill regulating other single use disposable plastic products. She has pushed forward the implementation of a law focused on Extended Producer Responsibility, which sets ambitious targets for the recycling of packaging and other products, as well as the development a National Organic Waste Strategy. Together with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Minister Schmidt has led the launch of the world’s third Plastics Pact in Chile. Finally, she has been leading the development of a Circular Economy Roadmap, which seeks to establish bold new targets for the country.
With respect to other environmental issues, she has also led the introduction of a Climate Change Framework law for discussion in the Chilean congress in January 2020; the modernization of the Environmental Review Law; and the approval of a bill establishing the Service of Biodiversity and Protected Areas.
Minister Schmidt holds a major in business from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. In addition to a distinguished business career as CEO of several companies in the media and consumer goods industries, she has previously been Minister of Women and Gender Issues (2010-2013) and Minister of Education (2013-2014).
The COP25 team is made up of the Minister of the Environment, Carolina Schmidt, who will take up the COP25 Presidency, and will have the collaboration of the Ministry of the Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, and Fundación Imagen de Chile.
Every team member is a fundamental piece for the Summit's successful development, together with the COP25 Presidency Coordinator, Andrés Landerretche, the content Coordinator, Rodrigo Olsen and the Coordinator of the event, Cristián Varela with their respective teams. Fundación Imagen de Chile is in charge of the COP25 organisation and execution.
Playing a key role is the COP Champion, Gonzalo Muñoz Abogabir, Co-founder and Executive President of TriCiclos, South America's first certified B Corporation and winner of the Circulars 2019 international award, colloquially known as the "Oscar of the World Circular Economy", which is announced annually by the World Economic Forum in Davos.
The whole world is in a process of transformation towards a truly sustainable development. Raising the levels of ambition with a balance between mitigation and adaptation is essential. For this purpose, we need the participation of both the States and local governments and the private sector.
The COP must encourage concrete climate action, ensuring an inclusive process for all parties and the formal integration of the scientific world and the private sector.
Our challenge is to achieve a transition towards increased action and that is perceived by the general public. Climate change is a reality now, not in 50 years' time.