Costa Rica belongs to the group of the top five world countries that are leaders on the way of renewable resources. Costa Rica is a tiny country. However, it has an enormous environmental effect. The energy of the state came from 99% renewable resources since 2014, and it is running on 100% renewable energy for more than two months two times in the last two years.
Since last year in June, they were set on eliminating the single-use plastics by the year 2021. Costa Rica is the first one in the world which will do that. During this summer, the country announced its purposes to be entirely carbon-neutral by 2021 too, also making it the first one in the entire world to be entirely carbon-free. Quite impressive for such a tiny country.
“With its rich biodiversity, Costa Rica has also demonstrated far-sighted environmental leadership by pursuing reforestation, designating a third of the country protected natural reserves, and deriving almost all of its electricity from clean hydropower.” – Stiglitz
Nearly 40 years ago, in the 1980s, the Costa Rican government had realized that its nature is the main asset. Since then, they’ve made a lot of efforts to protect that nature in the best way: this included zoo closures, establishing secure and protected areas, which was 25% from the entire surface zone of Costa Rica, as well as reforestation.
“Basing (electricity) generation on renewable resources allows the country to achieve one of the lowest ratios of greenhouse gas emissions to electrical consumption on the planet.” – The Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE)
Since 2014 until now, the country generated every but just 1% of the electricity in it which was coming from some renewable resources such as utilizing rivers, wind, volcanoes, and solar power.
One hydroelectric plant which is placed on the Reventazon River on the Caribbean slope, started its operations two years ago, in 2016, so now it is the biggest one of that kind situated in Central America.
Despite that, Costa Rica possesses seven wind turbine plants, as well as six hydroelectric plants and one solar plant. A statement by ICE has shown that just ¾ of the renewable energy was from hydroelectric plants that used the water from rivers, while the rest of it was wind and geothermal power. As it is followed by the biomass, the solar power was with the lowest percentage.
The dilemma about plastic came next. In 2017, in the event called World Environment Day, Costa Rica announced some plans about eliminating every single-use plastic by the year 2021. After that, some other alternatives will replace the plastic, and they will be 100% biodegradable or recyclable, and not based on petroleum. To achieve this goal, Costa Rica is financially and technically supported by the United Nations Development Program.
Earlier in 2018, Carlos Alvarado Quesada became the new president of the country. The first act he decided to take was about the problem of carbonization. At the time of the inauguration, Quesada announced his plans of banning fossil fuels, as well as becoming the first decarbonized society in the world. He said:
“Decarbonization is the great task of our generation, and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first.”
He also admitted that to create such a society, they would have to work hard. He hopes that the country will release itself of fossil fuels by 2021 in their systems for transportations – it will be in the same time with the celebration of their 200th anniversary since the nation achieved its independence. Quesada said:
“When we reach 200 years of independent life we will take Costa Rica forward and celebrate…that we’ve removed gasoline and diesel from our transportation.”
Monica Araya, the director of the Costa Rica Limpia, a company that promotes renewable energies and electric transport, said the following:
“Getting rid of fossil fuels is a big idea coming from a small country. This is an idea that is starting to gain international support with the rise of new technologies. In a country already rapidly weaning itself off fossil fuels, focusing on transport – one of the last major challenges – could send a powerful message to the world.”
Although a small country, Costa Rica made an enormous impression in the whole world, especially in environmentalism. However, this is also about the well-being and health of the citizens.
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