Recently, Costa Rica was recognized for its work in protecting nature and fighting climate change, with the 2019 United Nations Champions of the Earth award. This is the highest award granted by the United Nations in environmental matters and for the same reasons Time magazine included the Tico president Carlos Alvarado among the 100 most influential people in this field.
Alvarado directly received this award and commented: “On behalf of the people of Costa Rica, of everyone, I want to thank for this recognition that is consistent with the legacy that the generation of my parents and grandparents created for Costa Rica”.
It is important to know that the “Champions of the Earth 2019” award is given to the Central American country for its pioneering work to face climate change with measures such as the “Zero DE carbonization Plan”, which is already underway in the nation.
It is worth mentioning that with the Zero DE carbonization Plan, Costa Rica intends to free itself from the use of fossil fuels. Thus demonstrating its commitment to the transformation towards a modern, green and emission-free economy.
It should be noted that the United Nations Environment Program (PNUMA) further emphasizes that Costa Rica’s success in placing environmental concerns at the center of its political and economic strategies evidence that sustainability is attainable and economically viable.
The executive director of PNUMA, Inger Andersen, said that “Costa Rica is an example for the region and the world. Climate change demands urgent and transformative action from all of us and, with its ambitious plan to decarbonize the economy, Costa Rica lives up to that challenge”.
Costa Rica’s goals and objectives in environmental matters
The first is to develop a public transportation system (buses, taxis and electrical train TRP) all fueled by clean energy (no emissions) by 2035 and 70% of these must be zero emissions. Also, it must be so efficient that it makes the Ticos not need to use their cars.
The increase of at least 10% of non-motorized mobilizations has also aspired. And by 2050, all the motor public fleet public should be zero emissions. Likewise, the country will implement an extensive electric recharge network throughout the country and with complementary infrastructure for zero-emission technologies, for example, hydrogen stations.
In the first phase, it is expected that by 2025 the increase in motorcycle purchases will be stabilized and patterns adopted to favor the sale of zero-emission motorcycles. In the second phase there is an expectation that by 2035, 25% of the vehicle fleet will be electric and finally by 2050, 100% of new light-vehicle sales will be from zero-emission vehicles and 60% of the light vehicle fleet – private and public – will be zero emissions.
In terms of energy, this environmental plan establishes that by 2030, the country’s electricity matrix must operate 100% with renewable energy. Thus consolidating a national electrical system capable of supplying and managing renewable energy at a competitive cost for users. And by 2050, electric energy is expected to be a primary energy source for the transportation, residential, commercial and industrial sectors.
Costa Rica as an example for the world
The president, Carlos Alvarado, expressed his gratitude to the Costa Rican people by recognizing: “the teachers who around the country transmit their knowledge”, “to the indigenous communities that are guardians of many of our forests”, “to the park rangers and firefighters who preserve and protect nature”, “the communities that are involved in protecting biodiversity” and “so many generations of scientists who have studied our territory”. He said that Costa Rica is “an example to the world”, “an experiment in that being friendly to the environment, working with renewable energy, and generating employment and growth are not antagonistic, on the contrary, it is possible and we are proof of that”.
The Tico president stated: “I remember our legacy because we are here thanks to those who were before us, and now is our time to work hard for those who will come after us”. “This is also for the generation of my son and for the young people, who are raising their voices because it is also their world for which we have to work hard”.
Costa Rica will continue its fight for the environment and protect its biodiversity to set an example to the world that a green and clean economy is possible with measures that are real and that fit every reality.