Santiago, 13 May 2022 (TDI): The Chamber of Deputies of Chile approved the ratification of the Escazu agreement. The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of Chile’s bi-cameral legislature.
The motion was successfully approved by the majority of votes in the chamber and has now moved up to the Senate.
According to Chile’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Chamber of Deputies ratified the bill seeking Chile’s accession to the Escazú Agreement by 105 votes in favor, 34 against, and three abstentions.
Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola expressed her thoughts, saying that it is “a very important milestone.”
— Cancillería Chile 🇨🇱 (@Minrel_Chile) May 12, 2022
Previously, Chile promoted the Escazú Agreement along with Costa Rica between 2012 and 2018. However, then-President Sebastián Piñera refused to sign the treaty, arguing that the treaty was ambiguous.
Gabriel Boric, who was elected President in 2022, promised to include Chile in the regional agreement during his campaign. Later, he signed the Escazu Agreement on 18 March 2022.
Moreover, Chile also hosted the first Conference of Parties to the Escazu Agreement held after one year of the treaty entered into force. During the conference, the Chilean government promised to take steps to ratify the treaty.
The Escazu Agreement is a regional international environmental agreement that ensures the right to access to environment-related information, and public participation in environmental decision-making.
In addition, the agreement entails access to environmental justice, and protection of the right of every person of present and future generations to live in a healthy and sustainable environment.
Meanwhile, the official name of the agreement is “the Regional Agreement on Access to Information, Public Participation and Justice in Environmental Matters in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
The parties adopted the agreement in Escazu, Costa Rica, in 2018, hence the name Escazu Agreement. Moreover, the agreement entered into force in April, last year. Presently, there 12 out of 24 signatories have ratified the treaty.