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Costa Rica is a small country with very big goals: to become the first country to be plastic-free and carbon-free by 2021!

Since 2014, the country’s energy has run on 99 percent renewable sources. In 2015, Costa Rica ran for 75 consecutive days on fully renewable energy, and they did it for a consecutive 76 days the next year!

Costa Rica is a country in Central America known for its beaches and variety of wildlife. It is home to 4.9 million people and it draws in many tourists every year—those eager to see the beautiful sights the country has to offer.

Fact Box:

• Costa Rica contains nearly 6 percent of the world’s biodiversity

• The country accounts for only 0.03 percent of the earth’s surface

• The National Parks and Reserves covers more than 25 percent of the country’s land

• Costa Rica has a tropical climate all year

Those natural resources have helped the country in its quest to use renewable energy. Costa Rica relies on its rivers, volcanoes, and the wind and sun for its power. This includes the largest hydroelectric plant in Central America, seven wind turbine plants, a solar plant, and more!

Local officials know the value of their country’s lush rainforest and the wildlife that lives there and have been making efforts to protect their country since the 1980s. They have definitely stepped up their efforts in the last few years and made headlines for the big goals they have set for the country.

In 2017, the Costa Rican government focused on getting rid of single-use plastics by 2021. Then in 2018, Carlos Alvarado Quesada was elected as Costa Rica’s president. During his inauguration, he announced that the country’s goal was to become the world’s first carbon-free country.

“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 Quesada said at his inauguration speech in 2018.

Costa Rica certainly has a history of living up to the environmental goals it sets, and we will all be able to see soon whether it can become carbon-free and plastic-free by 2021!

Edition: 
Phoenix
Issue: 
December 2019