Costa Rica Poised to Become World’s First Fossil Fuel-Free Country

Clean electricity production rules in Costa Rica. The nation’s fossil fuel-dependent transportation sector, however, is a whole other story. (Photo: Ezequiel Becerra/AFP/Getty Images) Dutifully picking up where his carbon neutrality-aspiring predecessor left off, newly elected Costa Rica President Carlos Alvarado made quite the pledge at his inauguration ceremony last year: by 2021 — the year of Costa Rica’s bicentennial — the preternaturally happy Central American nation will have completely weaned itself off the use of fossil fuels. Almost a year later, Alvarado signed a decree in February 2019 to fully decarbonize by the year 2050 with no mention of his previous, lofty goal of being carbon neutral by 2021. Nonetheless, the goal is still admirable, and if accomplished will be the first in the world. “Decarbonisation 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,” proclaimed Alvarado, a 38-year-old former journalist and member of the left-leaning Citizens’ Action Party (PAC), in 2018. “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.” For […]

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