Costa Rica completed 61% of the goals of the first stage of the National Plan for the Decarbonization of the economy, according to a report presented this past Thursday by government authorities three years after the launch of the initiative.
The report “Advances in the implementation of the National Decarbonization Plan” reveals that, despite the covid-19 pandemic, the country has managed to lay the foundations to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
The Costa Rican president, Carlos Alvarado, affirmed that this is the roadmap for the country to achieve sustainable economic recovery and demonstrate that sustainable growth that generates significant revenues can be promoted.” The implementation of the plan contributes to the construction of a healthy future for the next generations,” explained Alvarado.
According to the report, as of February 2022, Costa Rica has already completed 61% of the goals set in the first stage of the plan, while by the end of the year, the figure is projected to reach 83%.
During the first three years of implementation, progress was made in key sectors due to their high emissions, such as transport —which generates almost half of the greenhouse gases— and agriculture.
To mitigate this, during the first phase of the plan, the pilot project with two electric buses was launched, nine exclusive bus lanes were implemented, a national network of 43 chargers for electric vehicles was installed, and the National System of Electronic Payment in Public Transport.
In the part of agriculture and livestock, 1,652 livestock farms were included under the low emissions program and this year a Sustainable Livestock Policy will be published.
A solid foundation
“We already have a solid foundation in place, which will allow us to implement even more ambitious changes in the future. Costa Rica is on track towards the goal of decarbonization,” said the Minister of Environment and Energy, Andrea Meza.
The first stage of the plan called “foundations”, which ran from 2018 to 2022, contemplates laying the foundations for future decarbonization actions. Subsequently, the “inflection” (2023-2030) and “mass deployment” (2031-2050) phases will follow.
An analysis by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) indicates that in the transportation sector alone, implementing the plan would cost 37 billion dollars, but would provide benefits of 78 billion dollars, for a net gain of 41 billion dollars.
While a study developed by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) shows that investments in decarbonization would accelerate both employment and economic recovery after the Covid-19 pandemic.