Chile announced Tuesday it would close eight coal-fired power stations over the next five years as part of a plan to switch entirely to renewable energy by 2040.
The closures, announced by Chile's conservative President Sebastián Piñera, account for 20 percent of the country's energy capacity, or 23,000 megawatts.
"The steps that we are announcing today are a concrete and real way of transforming words and commitments into facts and realities," Piñera said during a speech in the highly-polluted northern city of Tocopilla.
Chile, a net importer of energy, has relied increasingly on coal-powered electricity generation over the last decade, driven largely by the end of imports of natural gas from Argentina.
The South American country will host the 25th UN Climate Change Conference, COP25, in December.
The shutdown of four coal-fired plants in Tocopilla – as well as others in Iquique, Puchuncavi in the centre, and in the southern city of Coronel – will reduce annual Co2 emissions from the current 30 million tonnes to four million by 2024, the government said.
Once they are shut down, the plants will remain mothballed in a state of "operational reserve," ready to be called into service in an emergency at any time over the following five-year period, Piñera said.