Costa Rica Carbon Neutral 2021: Reality or Unrealistic?

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – Costa Rica has made an international commitment since 2009, acquired during the United Nations Summit on Climate Change, of becoming a carbon neutral nation by 2021 was. However, only seven years after the date, the goal seems far away.

    To achieve carbon neutrality by 2021 Costa Rica must have implemented appropriate national measures so that emissions of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) are reduced.

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    In other words, one of the elements that slows down Costa Rica being carbon neutral (CO2 neutral) is the dependence on fossil fuels.

    According to the study NEEDS, released in the latest report of the State, if the mitigation measures proposed in the study were implemented, total emissions would reach 6,856 CO2 gas emissions in 2021.

    But the cost to drive these measures would amount to $7.8 billion, equivalent to 30% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009.

    For environmentalists and self-Address Climate Change, Ministry of Environment, Energy and Mares (Minae), the process is complex and even slower.

    This would contradict the statement issued by the former minister of that portfolio, René Castro, in terms of progress on the project, which ensured that the goal was fulfilled by 81%.

    Mariana Porras, conservationist of the NGO Coecoceiba, showed that the indicators in terms of GHG emissions and advances in public policy about the dependence on fossil fuels could hinder the country to achieve its goal of neutrality.

    “Costa Rica is far in the progress in achieving neutrality. Its policy was more entrepreneurial to incorporate environmental seal on products that are exported to a real environmental strategy,” said Porras.

    The environmentalist argues that the the country must lower the dependence on fossil fuel consumption representing $2,200 million, according to the Balance of Payments of Central Bank of Costa Rica, to achieve its proposal.

    Transport, another BIG problem

    The country has maintained a 70% dependence on energy from oil, which has increased the carbon footprint in the last decade by 43%, according to details of the latest report of the Nation.

    Estimates of emissions of thicker strip come from burning oil and the major percentage comes from the transport sector, says the study.

    “Attacking this indicator is not easy because it is a very large and very complex sector. The real energy problem in this country is transport, which uses 60% of all energy throughout the country,” said Leonardo Merino, energy research coordinator of the Report of the State.

    At the discretion of the investigator, part of the problem in terms of fuel consumption in the country is the lack of an efficient public transport.

    “There is no town planning, no transport policies so that the transport system is no longer third world level,” concluded Murphy.

    “The growth in consumption of oil in 2000 was just over 1 million barrels, while by 2013 the consumption was 1.5 million,” cites the report.

    Jorge Polimeni, chief executive of the Ecological Flag Foundation, believes that the 2021 goal is not only difficult but it is difficult to achieve all developed plans to achieve neutrality in just seven years.

    “We have not done anything as a society. We are far from achieving the goal, since there are no real policies to lower the demand for higher fuel consumption that comes from the private sector, from all of us. We as a country have to adequate renewable energy and public transport; in the best electric scenario,” said Polimeni.

    The researcher points out that many public policies are mitigating the incorporation of biofuels, if lightly raised would impact on food production in Costa Rica.

    What do the current authorities say?

    They wanted to know the strategy for the coming years by the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Mares, however, they have postponed advices of addressing Climate Change; the entity belongs to that ministry.

    Katia Aguilar, an engineer of that address, acknowledged that the 2021 goal “is complex” because it requires joint actions of “many fronts” so at its discretion the seven remaining years is a short time.

    “There is much information but it scatters for progress. It´s been seven years now and we believe that the issue is not reaching the goal. If you fail to execute the plans and have the resources, then why not. But we are very short of time,” Aguilar said.

    The specialist said that there have been programs like reducing 100 tons of CO2 from the business sector from all sectors of the economy.

    Aguilar argues that in terms of forest cover and co2 mitigation plans through forested country is moved close to a hundred percent.

    “The network project to avoid deforestation and pursuant to projections, we are at a compliance of 81%, for which compensation is emitted at GHG level and forest cover,” said Aguilar.

    Environmentalists and the public representative said despite the achievements in implementing renewable energy and other environmental programs, the emission of greenhouse gases from fuel combustion is the brake on the 2021 goal.

    Aguilar explained that there are many nationally appropriate mitigation actions and recognized that there is an absence of uniting, something he wants to realize from that address.

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)

    San Jose, Costa Rica

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