Costa Rica walks the talk in terms of environmental efforts

October 13, 2019

Parque eólico Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz

Costa Rica made an international commitment since 2009, acquired during the United Nations Summit on Climate Change, of becoming a carbon neutral nation by 2021. Time flies and the deadline is around the corner. It is uncertain if the goal will be attained but government´s and individual efforts aiming to that goal are evident.

Every time there are more Costa Rican companies that have achieved carbon neutrality individually. Renewable energy sources are used more and more, reducing the already minimal use of fossil fuels to generate electricity. As an example, local electric company Coopeguanacaste opened a windmill field here in Santa Cruz this year providing 60.11 Gigawatts per year of clean energy to the grid.

Specific legislation has also been created around this goal. By decree, government entities are obliged to replace existent vehicle fleets with new electric cars. Electric cars have also been exempted of certain taxes and special credit lines to purchase them have been placed so that the population starts to find it attractive to replace fossil fueled cars by this zero-emission alternative. Other projects include public transportation in urban areas like the urban train system that has been modernized and identified as a basic item in the reorganization of the crowed central valley.

Global recognition over these efforts was given this year as the United Nations granted Costa Rica the 2019 ¨Champions of the Earth Award¨. This award was a highlight for our country in the Climate Action Summit, held in New York last September. The UN commended Costa Rica for generating 98% of its energy from renewable sources and for its ongoing reforestation efforts.

Environmental matters always generate controversy. There are dozens of vantage points on whether enough is done to offset the damages made by humanity. What is real is that the Costa Rican idiosyncrasy includes respect and protection to the environment along other desirable values like appreciation to peace, and political and social stability in contrast with many Latin American nations that are currently sadly struggling with all sorts of problems related to the lack of these. This is part of what makes this glorious nation a great place to live in.

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