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Costa Rica Announces Plan to Achieve Total Decarbonization by 2050

Costa Rica has announced its National Decarbonization Plan recently with the goal of combating climate change and becoming among the first countries, if not the first, to achieve total decarbonization by 2050.

Posted on Thu, Mar 28th, 2019 2:06 pm by Braden Rosner

No stranger to decarbonization, the Central American country’s zero carbon efforts have been a priority for Costa Rica’s government for decades with progress including an electrical grid over 95% emission-free and very low deforestation rates with 55% of the country protected. By 2021, President Carlos Alvarado strives to make Costa Rica the first carbon-neutral nation in the world. Building on his earlier initiatives, the newly announced national plan sets up the roadmap between the current goals and the 2050 goals through 10 stages that focus on mobility and transportation, the national electrical grid, low and zero emission technologies, waste management, the agri-food system, the protection of biodiversity and more.

What will the National Decarbonization Plan accomplish? Here’s a glimpse of Costa Rica over the next several years…

By 2035, 70% of buses and taxis will be zero emission and trains will be 100% electric. In 2050, the public transportation system (buses, taxis and trains) will operate in an integrated manner and will replace vehicles as the first choice of mobility for the population. In 2050, 100% of buses and taxis will be zero emission.
By 2030, the electrical grid will be able to operate 100% with renewables. By 2050, electric power will be the main source of energy for the transportation, residential, commercial and industrial sector, among others.
By 2050, all commercial, residential and public buildings will operate with low emission standards (with high electrification or use of renewable energy for cooking and water heating)
By 2030, Costa Rica will have a citizen and business culture oriented towards a lower waste generation and their successful management, under a circular economy approach.
By 2050, 100% of the territory will have solutions for waste collection, separation, reuse and disposal.
By 2050, the most advanced methods and technologies will be applied to achieve a sustainable, competitive, low-carbon and resilient agriculture, with the lowest levels of pollution.
In 2050, the forest cover will maintain or increase by 60% while reversing the degradation process of marine and terrestrial ecosystems.
By 2050, the livestock industry will use the most advanced technology according to standards of sustainability, competitiveness, low emissions and resilience in what concerns climate change.
In creating this National Decarbonization Plan, Costa Rica evaluated all scenarios and possible trajectories to reach its goal in the most cost-effective manner with changes to transportation posing the largest challenge. One of the plan’s most incredible transformations will be the development of an electric train that will provide the population with a modern public transportation system that connects the country’s four provinces. The plan is consistent with the objectives of the United Nations’ Paris Agreement, whose goal it is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by limiting a global temperature rise.