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Costa Rica’s progressive policies aim to make the country carbon-free by 2021

“We have the 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."

Image Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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Costa Rica’s new president has a plan to change the trajectory of the country in as little as three years. President Carlos Alvarado Quesada announced his plan to become the first carbon-free country in the world. And vowed to put an end to fossil fuel transportation by 2021.

“Decarbonization is the great task of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first,” Alvarado said at his inauguration.

The forward-thinking country “derives 99 percent of its electricity from renewable sources including hydropower and wind,” Common Dreams reported. But while Costa Rica has “decarbonized its energy system” almost entirely, the country’s transportation accounts for 35 percent of its emissions. That’s where Alvarado’s plan to shift the country’s method of transportation to electric vehicle with the build out of electric vehicle charging stations and eventually achieving the goal of a “carbon-neutral economy.”

“We have the 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,” Alvarado said.

Costa Rica, along with Scotland, New Zealand and Slovenia, is part of the Wellbeing Economies Alliance, a coalition that “seeks to ensure that public policy advances citizens’ well-being in the broadest sense, by promoting democracy, sustainability, and inclusive growth,” Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize-winning economist, reported in his recent column.

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Alvarado is confident that his plan is on pace with the country’s 200 years of independence.

“When we reach 200 years of independent life we will take Costa Rica forward and celebrate…that we’ve removed gasoline and diesel from our transportation,” Alvarado said.

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