Peru’s climate is already changing significantly and is projected to change even more through the century [1]. Since the 1960s, average temperatures have increased by 1˚C, and increases of 2˚C –3˚C in average maximum temperatures and 4˚C –6˚C in average minimum temperatures are projected by 2065. Warming will occur more rapidly along the Costa and in the southeastern Sierra. Rainfall is expected to increase along the Costa, but projected changes in rainfall in the Sierra and the Selva vary, with some models suggesting increases and others decreases.

A greater recurrence of dry spells and droughts have been experienced in the central and southern Sierra and Selva. The number of intense rainstorms, mudflows, and forest fires has more than doubled in the past 10 years and floods have increased by 60% since the 1970s. The frequency and intensity of natural disasters such as floods and droughts are projected to increase with climate change. 

The ongoing and predicted changes in temperature and rainfall patterns will have direct or indirect adverse impacts on Peru’s environment and key sectors of its economy [2], [3], [4]. The 2020 National Adaptation Plan [4] identified agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture, water resources, and public health as the priority vulnerable sectors; the likely most vulnerable ecosystems are the mountain, dry forests, Amazon rainforests, and marine coastal ecosystems.

Peru is home to 71% of the world’s tropical glaciers, which play a key role in the hydrology of the Andes by storing water in the rainy season, releasing it throughout the year, and thus supplying water to local (mainly rural) populations. Rising temperatures have already triggered the retreat and loss of glaciers; this will be exacerbated by the projected higher temperatures, causing floods during the rainy season and reduced water supply during the dry season, limiting water availability for crop irrigation and human consumption. As 52% of the country’s electricity is currently generated by hydropower from the Cañon del Pato, Mantaro, and Urubamba River basins, which are all partially fed by glacier water, electricity production will be compromised. 

Agricultural production both in the Sierra and the Costa regions is sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation. Temperature increases will be particularly important in the Sierra where most Peruvian peasants live practicing subsistence, rainfed farming of basic staples. Increased temperatures have already affected crop development and yield and facilitated the entry of pests, pushing peasants to cultivate at increasingly higher elevations where crops are exposed to shorter growing seasons and more snowstorms, floods, and droughts. Agriculture in the Costa consists mainly of intensively grown export crops that are threatened by increased water scarcity, drought, and salinization. Increased droughts will cause water stress and production losses, as well as genetic erosion of native varieties and wild relatives. Climatic changes will increase agriculture production costs due to the larger need of insecticides, damages to irrigation infrastructure, and flood damages.

Fisheries and aquaculture contribute to the food security of the country's most vulnerable populations, and the anchovy (Engraulis ringens) fishery industry contributes significantly to the country's economy. However, the Peruvian anchovy fishery is one of the world’s most vulnerable fisheries to climate change impacts. Increased climate variability, extreme weather events, rising ocean temperatures, and acidification affect the abundance and distribution of these resources. In particular, the decrease in primary productivity and increase in sea temperature will affect the anchovy biomass and catch, with enormous consequences for the country’s economy.

Climate change could also increase mortality and morbidity associated with heat shocks as well as the frequency of epidemics after floods. Rising temperatures would facilitate vector-borne diseases such as malaria, yellow fever, and dengue to spread across tropical zones in the Selva and the northern Costa regions. Dengue, originally found in only three departments in 1990, spread to 18 by 2013. Approximately 25 million people are projected to be at risk of malaria in 2070. Greater frequency of severe storms and floods would facilitate the spread of cholera and other diseases.

In addition, Peru is highly vulnerable to climate-hazards and extreme events such as the El Niño Southern Oscillation phenomenon (ENSO). Some 5.5 million people are in conditions of vulnerability to heavy rains, 2.6 million are exposed to droughts, and 5.6 million to frost and cold spells; most of them are those with the least access to resources and services. Moreover, in strong ENSO years, warm surface sea waters decimate marine populations especially anchovy. Climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of floods, droughts, and ENSO events.


Peru has done very little to cause global warming. Peru’s latest national GHG inventory [5] estimated the country’s annual total emissions at 167.63 Mt of CO2e (0.34% of global emissions).

The LULUCF (Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry) sector was the major source of GHG emissions in 2014, contributing 44.9% of total emissions, particularly (59%) from forests that were converted to agricultural land. The energy use sector was the second largest source (30%) of emissions, which came mainly from the transport (34%) and the electricity and heat generation (29%) sectors. The remainder emissions came from agriculture, waste, and industrial processes.

Total GHG emissions (without including those from the LULUCF sector) increased 47.8% from 2000 to 2014, particularly in the energy sector. Emissions from LULUCF increased 10% in just two years, between 2012 and 2014.


Key policies and governance approach

Peru is party to the UNFCCC since 1993. In compliance to its obligations to the convention, Peru has submitted three national communications in 2001, 2010, and 2016. Peru’s third national communication [6] included a national GHG emissions inventory updated to 2012 and described the measures planned and implemented for mitigating GHG emissions and adapting to climate change. Peru has also submitted two Biennial Update Reports (BUR) in 2014 and 2019; the second BUR [5] included a revised and updated (as for the year 2014) national GHG emissions inventory, analysed the evolution of the country’s GHG emissions from 2000 to 2014, and identified key sectoral initiatives for mitigating GHG emissions. Peru was the first Latin American country to ratify the Paris Agreement in July 2016. In compliance to the agreement, Peru submitted an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution in 2016 and a revised, more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution in 2020 [7].

In its updated NDC [7], Peru pledged to unconditionally contain the country’s net GHG emissions to at most 208.8 Mt of CO2e by 2030 (a 30% reduction relative to the 2030 reference scenario) and, conditionally, to at most 179 Mt of CO2e (a 40% reduction). Measures aimed at reducing GHG emissions, increasing carbon sequestration, and enhancing carbon sinks in all the major emitting sectors (energy use, industrial processes, waste, LULUCF, and agriculture) are to be implemented by public and private actors. Peru also pledged to contribute to the global adaptation goal by reducing damages, alterations, and the present and future losses caused by climate change on populations and livelihoods, watersheds, ecosystems and territories, and on the country’s infrastructure, goods and services.

Studies are being conducted aimed at exploring additional or more intensive but feasible mitigation measures that might help to attain carbon neutrality by 2050. Results will be used to update the National Strategy on Climate Change to 2050 and the country’s NDC [2], [8]. Measures being entertained include drastically reducing deforestation; establishing forest plantations; large-scale adoption of agroforestry and silvopastoral systems and cultivation of irrigated rice; reducing beef meat consumption; full adoption of electric mobility; reducing waste generation and increasing recycling; further improving the country’s energy matrix by increasing the share of non-conventional renewable energy sources (solar, wind, and geothermal), and others.

To fulfil the pledges made in its NDC, Peru has adopted several planning and policy instruments. These include the National Climate Change Strategy (adopted in 2003 and updated in 2014) [9], the principal guiding instrument to address climate change issues in Peru; the 2018 Framework Law on Climate Change [10]; the 2020 National Adaptation Plan [4]; as well as various sectoral strategies including the National Risk and Adaptation Management Plan on Climate Change in the Agricultural Sector (2012); National Energy Policy 2014–2025 (2014); National Plan for Risk and Disaster Management 2014–2021 (2014); and the National Strategy for Forests and Climate Change (2016)

Implementation of the NDC is led by the Ministry of the Environment with collaboration from the relevant sectoral ministries and local authorities, through the National Commission on Climate Change. The latest National Environmental Policy [11] includes Priority Objectives (OP) specifically addressing mitigation (OP 8) and adaptation (OP5) to climate change.



As reported in the second BUR [5], Peru has made significant progress in constructing the policy and institutional framework for addressing climate change issues, as well as in developing and implementing mechanisms for GHG emissions registry, inventory, and Measuring, Reporting and Verification (MRV). Peru is currently in the process of defining the mechanisms, estimating the costs, identifying the financing sources, and building the enabling conditions for implementing the actions pledged in its NDC.


Initiatives and Development Plans

The Ecosystem-based adaptation measures for integrated coastal and marine zone management (EbaMar) project [12] is funded by the German government as part of its International Climate Initiative (IKI). The project aims to integrate ecosystem-based adaptation measures into strategic planning processes for coastal and marine zones of Peru; it is being implemented in three regions: Ica (Pisco-Paracas), Lima (Huaral, Huaura, and Barranca), and Piura (Sechura, Paita, and Talara). The project began in November 2019 and will end in November 2024.

  • In order to build long-term resilience to climate change impacts and natural disasters, adaptation measures need to be integrated into land-use and development planning, and closely integrated with water management, agriculture, fisheries, and land use policies.
  • Effective implementation of the measures included under Priority Objective 5 – Adaptation to climate change in the National Environmental Policy [11], as well as those pledged in its updated NDC of reducing damages, alterations, and losses caused by climate change on populations and livelihoods, watersheds, ecosystems and territories, and on the country’s infrastructure, goods and services, would help to build resilience in the country.
  • Given the insignificant contribution of Peru’s GHG emissions, efforts should focus on addressing adaptation to climate change. However, several measures aimed at reducing GHG emissions (e.g., reducing deforestation, increasing reforestation, etc.) would have significant co-benefits for other key priority issues (e.g., forest loss and impact on biodiversity).