The climate crisis is the greatest threat to the survival of humanity. Facing it implies an unprecedented transformation of the economic model, but also the awareness that Costa Rica must carry out its next modernization without leaving anyone behind.
Both urgencies – changing all sectors of the economy and achieving climate justice – are at the core of the 2020 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC 2020), whose headline goals were presented to the international community.
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), through the NDC Support Program Project, supports the Climate Change Directorate (DCC) of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) in the implementation and updating of the NDC. After an arduous technical and consultation process, the full document will be delivered to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) this month
Human civilization understands the size of the challenge. For this reason, since 2015, the Paris Agreement is the world’s framework for combating the climate crisis. The NDC is the commitment of each country to achieve the goals. The Costa Rican NDC 2020 improves the first contribution and increases climate ambition.
Now Costa Rica is on a consistent trajectory with the global goal of limiting the rise in global average temperature to 1.5 ° C. Previously the NDC was aligned with the 2 ° C target. Internally, during the next 5 years the country’s adaptation capacity will be expanded; their resilience will be strengthened and our vulnerability to climate change will be reduced. In mitigation, the NDC promises a further reduction in emissions, reaching an absolute maximum of net emissions by 2030 of 9.11 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from all sectors.
Costa Rica’s emissions in 2012 were 11.8 million tons of CO2e, according to the second Biannual Update Report of 2019. The goal is to reduce emissions by 22.84% compared to 2012; reduction greater than the 20.64% promised in the previous contribution.
“We knew that the transformation to avoid the worst consequences of climate change would be complex, but necessary. Greenhouse gas emissions are intertwined with the previous development model. Costa Rica seeks to be a leader in a revolution that has already begun, revolutionize the development model, turn threats into opportunities and contribute to the sustainable recovery of 2020,” said Andrea Meza Murillo, Minister of Environment and Energy.
“The Updated NDC brings together the public policies on climate matters that Costa Rica plans to implement between 2021 and 2030, and details the goals to be achieved in 13 priority sectors, from transportation and land use planning to energy and construction. And above all, it is a recount of the actions necessary to achieve the resilient and fairer future that we want ”, highlighted Patricia Campos Mesén, head of MINAE’s DCC.
The NDC document was up for public consultation, in addition, UNDP supported the DCC to hold 12 sessions of Climate Conversations with stakeholders due to their potential vulnerability to the climate crisis, such as women and people with disabilities, older adults, Afro-descendants, indigenous people and trans people
Decarbonization and resilience to rebuild better
Decarbonization and resilience are means to transform our model from developed to one based on the well-being of more people and greater protection of natural ecosystems. Since the first NDC, Costa Rica developed two pillars in mitigation and adaptation: the National Adaptation Policy (2018) and the National Decarbonization Plan (2019). The latter represents the Long-Term Strategy (ELP) under the Paris Agreement. The 2020 NDC and the Plan have the same mitigation (emissions) goal.
“If the countries do not take the necessary structural measures, the planetary conditions would be fundamentally altered. Even the most urgent processes must take into account the needs and opportunities of all people. A just transition and a climate justice perspective are central to not widening existing gaps, but reducing them, ”said José Vicente Troya Rodríguez, UNDP Resident Representative.
The Updated NDC details actions and goals in 13 key sectors of the Costa Rican society and economy. Costa Rica undertakes that by 2030, at least 8% of the public transport fleet will be zero emissions.
In the area of development and land use planning, all municipal management – including regulatory plans, urban corridors, and other planning instruments – must incorporate adaptation criteria.
In terms of infrastructure and construction, by 2030, 100% of new buildings will be designed and built with low-emission and resilient systems and technologies.
In terms of energy, by 2030 the country should have standards and regulations for energy efficiency of the technologies we consume, such as refrigeration and air conditioning. In the attached document you will be able to review the main goals of the NDC 2020.