Quantcast
Renewable Energy
Puntarenas, Costa Rica. kansasphoto/ Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Costa Rica President Announces 'Titanic and Beautiful Task' of Abolishing Fossil Fuels

Carlos Alvarado, the new president of Costa Rica, announced the country's "titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies."

He made the remarks at his inauguration speech Wednesday in front of a crowd of thousands, the Independent reported.


The 38-year-old former journalist also wants the country to be a global example in decarbonization.

"Decarbonization is the great task of our generation, and Costa Rica must be among the first countries in the world to achieve it, if not the first," he said.

His goal is for Costa Rica to lead the Paris agreement on climate change and be a "world decarbonization laboratory" before the United Nations' climate talks in 2020 (COP 26).

The Central American nation already derives most of its electricity without using fossil fuels. Last year, the country of 4.8 million people ran for 300 consecutive days on its renewable energy mix of hydropower, wind and geothermal. That impressive feat bested its 2015 record of 299 days of 100 percent renewable production. It also went 271 days using only renewable energy production in 2016.

Despite a 98 percent renewable power grid, Costa Rica has a gasoline-dependent transportation sector, with roughly half of its emissions coming from transport.

Still, the government has been working hard to green its fleet. Former president Luis Guillermo Solís signed a law that eliminates sales, customs and circulation taxes for electric vehicles and allows them to use municipal parking facilities free of charge.

Alvarado, who arrived to his inauguration ceremony at the Plaza de la Democracy on a hydrogen bus, campaigned on modernizing and electrifying older modes of transport, promoting research and development in hydrogen and biofuels, and banning oil and gas exploration in the country.

In a speech last month, he announced intentions to ban fossil fuels for transportation by 2021, the year Costa Rica reaches 200 years of independence.

Energy experts, however, cast doubt on the plan, as Reuters reported. They warn that the plan to eliminate fossil fuels in a handful of years is unrealistic.

Oscar Echeverría, president of the Vehicle and Machinery Importers Association, said the switch to clean transport cannot be rushed because the market is so far undeveloped.

"If there's no previous infrastructure, competence, affordable prices and waste management we'd be leading this process to failure. We need to be careful," Echeverría explained to the news service.

But economist Mónica Araya, a Costa Rican sustainability expert and director of Costa Rica Limpia, praised the government's focus on weaning off polluting energy sources.

"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," she told Reuters. "Tackling resistance to change is one of the most important tasks we have right now."

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
PxHere

Do You Know Where Your Meat Comes From?

By Ronnie Cummins

Consumers know if the tomatoes they buy in the supermarket were imported from Mexico. They know if the sweater they purchased was made in Vietnam.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
Pexels

More Than Good Looks: Try These 10 Edible Flowers

By Brian Barth

Eating flowers seems almost heretical. If plants could talk, wouldn't they say, you can look, even sniff, but please don't chow down on my pretty petals? The dainty apple flower, after all, is what gives way to the fruit, and thus the seed, ensuring the cycle of life continues. Do you dare give into the temptation to pluck it for food?

Keep reading... Show less
Food
Indie Ecology / Instagram

Table-to-Farm-to-Table: Startup Grows Food for Restaurants With Kitchen Leftovers

Food, as we know, is a terrible thing to waste. Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption gets lost or wasted every year. But what if we could use food waste to create more food?

That's the elegantly full-circle idea behind Indie Ecology, a West Sussex food waste farm that collects leftovers from some of London's best restaurants and turns it into compost. The nutrient-rich matter is then used to grow high quality produce for the chefs to cook with. Call it table-to-farm-to-table—and again and again.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
Pexels

China’s Global Infrastructure Initiative Could Bring Environmental Catastrophe

By Nexus Media, with William F. Laurance

Humans are ravaging tropical forests by hunting, logging and building roads and the threats are mounting by the day.

China is planning a series of massive infrastructure projects across four continents, an initiative that conservation biologist William Laurance described as "environmentally, the riskiest venture ever undertaken."

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Energy
Alaska's Kenai Fjords National Park, which was impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill, could be harmed again if expanded offshore drilling plans go through. National Park Service

Trump’s Offshore Drilling Plan Puts 68 National Parks at Risk

Sixty-eight National Parks along the coastal U.S. could be in danger from devastating oil spills if President Donald Trump's plan to open 90 percent of coastal waters to offshore oil drilling goes through, a report released Wednesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Parks Conservation Association found.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
E. coli. The World Health Organizations says antibiotic resistance is "one of the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today." U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Climate Change Could Supercharge Threat of Antibiotic Resistance: Study

By Andrea Germano

The World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have previously sounded alarms about the growing issue of antibiotic resistance—a problem already linked to overprescribing of antibiotics and industrial farming practices. Now, new research shows a link between warmer temperatures and antibiotic resistance, suggesting it could be a greater threat than previously thought on our ever-warming planet.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Renewable Energy
Powerwall residential battery with solar panels. Tesla

Tesla's Massive Virtual Power Plant in South Australia Roars Back to Life

Tesla's plans to build the world's largest virtual power plant in South Australia will proceed after all.

The $800 million (US $634 million) project—struck in February by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and former South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill—involves installing solar panels and batteries on 50,000 homes to function as an interconnected power plant.

Keep reading... Show less
Climate
A French lavender farmer is part of the group suing the EU for more ambitious emissions targets, saying climate change threatens his crop. Iamhao / CC BY-SA 3.0

10 Families Bring First Ever 'People’s Climate Case' Against the EU

Ten families from Fiji, Kenya and countries across Europe who are already suffering the effects of climate change filed a case against the EU Wednesday in a bid to force the body to increase its commitments under the Paris agreement, AFP reported.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!