One small Central American country is making big moves when it comes to combating climate change. Famous for its environmental policy, Costa Rica is making headway against the destruction of its fragile habitats even in the face of budget cuts and setbacks due to the pandemic.
Costa Rica is already unique in that it was the first tropical country to prevent and reverse the effects of deforestation. It has already managed to produce almost all of its energy from renewable sources and committed to reaching net-zero emissions by the year 2050.
Solutions are being developed in both urban and rural areas: In the capital city of San José, the government is testing a pilot program with three electric busses. Meanwhile, along the country’s rural southern border, locals are being paid with government funds to preserve their forests, rather than selling the land for a quick profit.
Most recently, Andrea Meza, Costa Rica’s new environment and energy minister has drafted a ten-part plan targeting the country’s transportation sector. Given that half the country’s greenhouse gas emissions come from motor vehicles, it only makes sense for Costa Rica to build more electric trains, busses, and cars, and to train the engineers needed to make such an endeavor sustainable. The project is expected to be both good for the planet and the local economy.
While Costa Rica isn’t the wealthiest country, it is in many ways a leader and testing ground when it comes to green solutions. It is this status as a forerunner that allows Costa Rica to secure funding for its ambitious sustainability projects. International support is at an all-time high一perhaps out of hope that successful models in the country might be applicable worldwide.