The Central American country has always been characterized by a high level of environmental awareness and respect for human rights. It is once again in the news for its projects to manage plastic waste and decarbonize its economy.

Costa Rica is taking on the ambitious task of becoming the world’s first plastic and carbon free country.

Not only are they trying to achieve what no other country has achieved to date, but President Carlos Alvarado hopes to complete his mission by 2021, coinciding with the bicentennial of his independence.

Decarbonization of the country.

President Carlos Alvarado is proposing a series of incentives to boost the use of clean energy.

Assuming Costa Rica produces almost 100% of its electricity consumed from renewable sources, its big challenge is to be the first carbon-free country in the world by 2021.

By 2035, Costa Rica wants 70% of the bus and taxi fleet do not generate emissions, you also want to have an electric passenger train and a freight train on date. By 2050, all new light vehicle sales are expected to be zero-emission.

We have launched an economy-wide plan to decarbonise our country in accordance with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the goals of the United Nations Sustainable Development Agenda. Decarbonization is not just about the electricity grid. Transportation is the biggest source of emissions in Costa Rica.

Carlos Alvarado.

It is planned to encourage the use of electric vehicles and efforts are being made to make public transport more integrated in order to reduce emissions. While it is true that electric cars are very expensive, there is a tendency to lower prices in the medium term.

The demand for cars is increasing and the majority of the population travels by bus or diesel train. But this offers new investment and electrification opportunities. We have incentives for electric vehicles and focus on integrating public transport

Carlos Alvarado.

Despite his good intentions, many critics believe he will not be able to meet the goals in the allotted time. Electric cars are very expensive, so the the transition may take longer.

The government manages a fossil fuel taxTherefore, the elimination of its use may have an impact on public finances.

Paying for the changes could initially result in higher prices for consumers. However, I think that will be outweighed by the extraordinary benefits we will all get from it.

Carlos Alvarado.

On the other hand, most heavy transport use diesel and this can cause economic problems in the distribution of goods and services.

The president rejected the argument because he believes consumers will be compensated by extraordinary benefits.

Plastic waste management.

The country first announced its intention to move away from single-use plastic in 2017, as part of World Environment Day.

Costa Rica has a very strong plan to eliminate plastic waste. The main measures include:

  • Environmental tax on plastic pollution. Plastic inputs will be taxed as follows: ethylene polymer: 10%, multiple use and long life 15%, single use plastic 25%.
  • It is planned to ban the single-use plastic by 2021. This tax aims to modify the models of supply and demand, on the basis of the principle that the polluter pays.
  • Banana-based bioplastic: Costa Rican researchers are working to create a banana-based material that makes it easier to dispose of biodegradable packaging.
  • Orbital launches O2, the world’s most powerful tidal turbine
  • Cryosolar and autonomous solar cold room for the conservation of perishable products
  • The backpack capable of reducing the load by 20% and generating energy when walking
  • Denmark plans an “artificial energy island” that will generate green energy for 3 million homes
  • The invention that enables hundreds of farmers to obtain biogas from animal feces