04.07.2018

Taking a big step forward towards a low-emission economy in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s then Minister of Environment and Energy, Edgar Gutiérrez, emphasised the impact of the development strategy being launched; Photo: Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (MINAE)

Costa Rica’s then Minister of Environment and Energy, Edgar Gutiérrez, emphasised the impact of the development strategy being launched; Photo: Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (MINAE)

On 19 April 2018, the Government of Costa Rica kicked off an extensive process to develop a long-term strategy for combining the country’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), the ultimate aim of which is to achieve a sustainable, low-emission and resilient economy.

The long-term strategy, entitled ‘Towards a Sustainable and Inclusive Development’, is seeking to achieve this aim by promoting planning instruments for long-term development that is consistent with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) governance principles and good practices. At the same time, the strategy will make it possible to meet an additional commitment, recommended in the Paris Agreement, to design long-term strategies for the decarbonisation of economies.

The strategy is a joint effort of Costa Rica’s Ministry of Planning and Political Economy (MIDEPLAN), Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), Ministry of Foreign Trade (COMEX), and National Treasury. It combines several objectives from different international agreements, including the SDGs as well as the decarbonisation and resilience goals contained in Costa Rica’s NDC. The strategy will be developed within the framework of the country’s National Planning System, serving as an umbrella for those of its national development plans with a duration of over 20 years.

During the kick-off event, Mr Anthony Cox, Director of the OECD’s Environment Directorate, highlighted how investing in climate equals investing in growth. ‘Long-term planning is an essential step for countries to prepare their transition path towards a world with low-carbon emissions. I want to congratulate Costa Rica for stepping into this ambitious and integrated process. The OECD is ready to support the Government in this effort’, Mr Cox said.

Event to kick off the strategy development process; Photo: Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (MINAE)

Costa Rica’s then Minister of Environment and Energy, Edgar Gutiérrez, went on to add that ‘Using this strategy will allow us to move forward with the alignment, coordination and coherence of public policies. It will also allow us to give clear signals to the markets and academia as well as private and social actors about the direction [in which] the country is heading’.

The strategy will be developed over the course of at least one year by an interdisciplinary team under the leadership of MIDEPLAN and MINAE, with the process expected to include the active participation of all sections of society. This work is being supported by the ACCIÓN Clima II project, which is being implemented by three organisations: the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the International Climate Initiative (IKI) of the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

In this video, a number of Costa Ricans describe their personal visions of what they’d like their country to be like in 2050, expressing desires that range from environmental achievements and low-emission development to a more inclusive and respectful society.