Monday, February 11, 2008

Carbon Neutral Costa Rica

Two short posts today.

NPR reported today that Costa Rica’s aim to become the first carbon neutral country might be at risk due to the effects of climate change itself. The country produces nearly 80% of its electricity from Hydroelectric plants (and another 18% from wind and geothermal sources) and even a tiny shift in rainfall patterns could leave the country without enough water to meet its growing demand for electricity. Of course, nobody knows exactly what the specific local effects of climate change will be, but scientists think it is likely to have a significant effect on rainfall.

According to Reuters, the aim of cutting Costa Rica’s net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2021 was announced by President Oscar Arias in June 2007. (2021 is Costa Rica's 200th birthday.) Costa Rican officials had previously announced plans to eliminate net greenhouse gas emissions by 2027.

Officials say the country will clean up its fossil fuel-fired power plants, promote hybrid vehicles, cut emissions from transport, farming and industry, and increase tree planting to balance its emissions. Government programs to promote reforestation have already put trees on 51 percent of the country, a 10 percent increase over the last decade.

Full NPR story can be found at
Reuters story can be found at


Greg said...

Well done. What can you say about a country that has more teachers than soldiers! Viva Costa Rica.

I'm enjoying your blog

Tony Welsh said...

Thanks, Greg.

Ros said...

Greg - I don't think Costa Rica has *any* soldiers, does it?
It's a great country, and their decision to make ecotourism a mainstay of their economy was brilliant. The food's great there, too, even for vegetarians.