In order to combat the effects of climate change, many countries around the world have focused on sustainability. For example, Japan has worked to create towns that operate with zero waste, citizens in Denmark are using bicycles to commute to work, and now, Costa Rica has announced that they will ban fossil fuels and work to decarbonize their country.
Monica Araya, a Costa Rican economist explains, “getting rid of fossil fuels is a big idea coming from a small country. This is an idea that’s starting to gain international support with the rise of new technologies.”
It seems an impossible feat to those of us living in countries so heavily dependent on fossil fuels, but Costa Rica is already getting 99% of its energy from renewable sources. The push make 100% comes down to the transportation industry as there isn’t a lot being done in the industry to move away from gas powered engines. However, an organization called Costa Rica Limpia is pushing to get the new Hyundai electric car available in Costa Rica as the brand is already preferred by drivers there.
The goal of decarbonizing by 2021 was set by President Carlos Alvarado. An aggressive goal, but the year marks Costa Rica’s 200th year of independence. What better way to celebrate than by no longer being dependent on fossil fuels?
Financial burdens may keep Costa Rica from hitting their lofty goals, but the effort alone is a powerful statement to the rest of the world leaders. The abundant use of fossil fuels, globally, is the biggest contributor to climate change, and if such a small country as Costa Rica can make this enormous change, the rest of the world can surely follow suit.