Costa Rica Sets an Environmental Example and Asks Why Other Countries Don’t Follow Suit

    Stating that large countriesshould assume that commitment and recognize being a strategic ally

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    The Costa Rican Foreign Minister, Rodolfo Solano, put his country as an example this past week for having undertaken the necessary reforms to fight climate change and protect its nature and wondered why, if they have done it, other more developed countries cannot do it.

    In a previous interview at the Tribune organized by Casa América in the Spanish capital, the minister assured that Costa Rica is “a laboratory where success stories can be seen and replicated” of environmental policies.

    “We managed to reverse deforestation in one generation, 70% of our territory is reforested and 30% is within protection zones, if Costa Rica did it, why can’t other countries do it, our interest is to replicate this model of success,”he explained.

    After a tour of Europe where he participated in COP26, Solano agreed with the proposals of other Latin American countries to exchange foreign debt for climate action and recalled that his country was a “pioneer” in that strategy.

    “We have done it, we have been pioneers, it must be done with transparency and accountability, we are the countries that produce the least greenhouse gases and those that receive the most, the large producers should assume that commitment and recognize that we can be a strategic ally,”he said.

    Climate Change And SDGs, Hand In Hand

    The Minister recalled that there are only nine years to go to 2030, the time limit that the countries of the world set to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and insisted that this agenda is “the correct route.”

    “We are nine years away, we can give ourselves a very sad surprise,” if the objectives are not met, said the Costa Rican, who assured that in addition to the need to protect the environment, there is also “a great financial opportunity to generate wealth by doing a transformation” of production systems.

    Solano also stressed that the next generations are clear that climate change will be a priority in the coming decades and alluded to the individual respect of each human being for nature as a way to stop the climate ravages.

    “One has to be convinced personally, when we talk about climate change it has to do with respect for people, if I am responsible for my square meter and you are also responsible, we are fulfilling our responsibility”, he valued.

    Despite the fact that the Brazilian president, JairBolsonaro, did not attend COP26, the minister considered that “Brazil continues to be a fundamental actor” in the fight for the defense of the environment.

    “It is one of the largest economies in Latin America and has a large proportion of the Amazon, we will continue to support that the leadership of large Latin American countries allow us to bring together that regional coherence, to continue advancing in that common goal,” he added.

    The Pandemic “Undressed” Latin America’s Inequity

    According to theMInister, the pandemic “came to bare the inequity” in Latin America for which it demanded “public policies that transcend governments” and partisan ideas.

    “It does not matter where the heart is, if to the left, to the right or in the center, the important thing is that there is a referential framework of values ​​to be able to progress,” he assumed.

    He also referred to young people who are “at the gates of a lost generation”, “children who had to abandon their studies, in an educational system that requires qualitative rather than quantitative improvements.”

    “If we do not act now, in 10 years they will pass us an extremely high social bill, they will be exposed to organized crime networks, human trafficking and migration, we are at the right time to provide financing to be able to make serious incorporation socioeconomicproposals”, he emphasized.

    Beyond Geopolitics the United States And China May Be Costa Rica’s Partners

    The foreign minister pointed out that, beyond the geopolitical tensions between the United States and China, his country can maintain a good relationship with both nations, the two largest economies in the world.

    “We have diplomatic relations with China since 2007, a strong cooperation agenda, a free trade agreement and an investment protection treaty, it is the second largest economy in the world and there are trade opportunities,” he said.

    Solano in turn described the relationship with the United States as “extraordinary” and “historic”

    “The important thing is to understand that there are opportunities to generate employment and we see more than a geopolitical confrontation, that Costa Rica can reaffirm its potential with the strategic partner that is the United States and also in opportunities with China,” he added.


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