Costa Rica Weighs Banning Oil Exploitation and Boosts Decarbonization

    With regard to oil exploitation, the President said that "due to false illusions of dirty wealth, we cannot turn our back on a green legacy built by generations"

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    This week, the President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, highlighted, in his annual message before the Legislative Assembly, the actions framed in the National Decarbonization Plan (PdD) towards 2050, which he described as “an essential roadmap for the next decades”.

    He recalled that, according to the study carried out by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the RAND Corporation and the University of Costa Rica (UCR), the materialization of this plan would bring the country more than 41,000 million dollars in net benefits.

    Among the pillars of the PdD, the president highlighted safe, efficient and renewable public transport, the transformation of the fleet of light vehicles and freight transport, the promotion of the circular economy with the launch, last March, of the Action Plan for Comprehensive Waste Management, built together with the National Association of Mayors and Municipalities, the National Union of Local Governments, foreign cooperation and public institutions.

    Actions have been developed to strengthen the Institutional Supply Plan (PAI) of the National Production Council. The President added that “the future of our agriculture lies in digitization, precision agriculture, climate adaptation, and in understanding that credit to agriculture is not like the others. It is credit to produce what we eat in times of climatic risk and to maintain a dignified life in our fields, without forcing people to leave the land and migrate”.

    Alvarado also stated that Costa Rica has the highest coverage of fast charging centers for electric vehicles in the entire region; and it is defining the National Hydrogen Strategy, of which no further details are known at this time.

    Oil exploration ban

    The President was emphatic that we must prohibit oil exploration by stating that “due to false illusions of dirty wealth, we cannot turn our back on a green legacy built for generations” and added that the whole world today is moving away from oil and going to the Green Costa Rica as a world reference.

    Alvarado reminded legislators of the importance of ratifying the Escazú Agreement. It is an international agreement to protect environmental defenders and consolidate their rights, it is the first binding regional agreement on human rights and the environment, which seeks to guarantee the full and effective implementation in Latin America and the Caribbean of the rights of access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making processes and access to justice in environmental matters.

    Although Costa Rica was one of the two countries proposing the Escazú Agreement to protect environmental defenders, along with Chile, it has not yet ratified said agreement, which was stalled in the Legislative Assembly just after the business chambers they expressed their staunch opposition.

    Renewables: 100% by 2030

    Costa Rica announced in mid-December that it will increase its efforts to face climate change, clean the air in its cities and modernize its agricultural and waste management systems and confirmed its proposal to work for a decarbonized and resilient economy in the coming decades. In the energy sector, the country aims to achieve and maintain 100% renewable electricity generation by 2030.

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