Barbilla National Park

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Our Story

Our Planet Foundation is a not-for-profit organization led by a passionate Board all sharing a vision for protection and preservations of our Rain Forests and local communities. With equal representation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples from around the world our focus comes true. Bringing life, sustainable living and Protection to the Rain Forests of Barbilla National Park and region of Central America.Our Story

On 13 October 2016, Costa Rica ratified the Paris Agreement. Its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) sets an unconditional target to keep net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions below 9.37 MtCO2e in 2030 including Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF). The NDC translates into emissions (excl. LULUCF) returning to 2010 levels by 2030. Based on this target, we rate Costa Rica “sufficient”.

The “sufficient” rating indicates that Costa Rica’s climate plans are at the most ambitious end of its fair contribution. This means it is consistent with limiting warming to below 2°C without requiring other countries to make much deeper reductions and comparatively greater effort. We will assess in mid-2017 whether this target is in line with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C warming limit. The rating could be improved if Costa Rica renewed its commitment to have zero carbon emissions by 2021 as expressed in the National Climate Change Strategy.

Costa Rica’s NDC announces its long-term intention to become carbon neutral by 2085. This contradicts the target included in the 2008 National Climate Change Strategy (ENCC) – of becoming carbon neutral by 2021. Instead, the NDC puts forward an indicative level of emissions (incl. LULUCF) of 10.9 MtCO2e for 2021 (equivalent to about 23% above 2010 emissions levels excl. LULUCF). This is unexpected, especially given the Government’s recent announcement that they have already achieved 81% of the carbon neutral target.

According to our analysis, Costa Rica will need to implement additional policies to reach its proposed targets. Most of the mitigation policies it has implemented and planned are in the forestry sector, while the design and implementation of policies for the remaining sectors—energy, buildings, transport, agriculture and waste sectors— are still in an embryonic stage. An exception is electricity generation that already runs on a very high share of renewable sources.

Costa Rica will go through an internal process to facilitate the implementation of the 2030 goal from 2021 onwards (Ministerio de Ambiente, 2015). Further policies i.e. reducing energy demand, further decarbonising the energy supply, fuel switching and carbon sink management will need to be implemented for Costa Rica to meet its target. The government is engaged in multiple sectoral dialogues to better understand what the most attractive mitigation actions are. Examples of the policies considered include an internal carbon market (the Emissions Reductions Program), a goal to have 100% electricity generated from renewable energy, better agricultural practices, waste management in cities, and electric transportation (Ministerio de Ambiente, 2015; REEGLE, 2015).

In the forestry sector, current efforts are mainly the Low Emissions Development Strategies and a REDD+ (Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) strategy at the national level. Also, as included in NAMAs (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions), the metrics to assess the potential for removals and emissions are under review and continuous improvement. Emissions excluding LULUCF could increase significantly from historic levels and require attention to further decarbonise the economy. We don’t include the forestry sector in our rating – please see the CAT’s NDC ratings and LULUCF page for more details.