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“Yo limpio mi huella” is spanish for “I clean my track”. Costa Rica made a pledge in January 2010 that it would be carbon- neutral by 2021.

Climate Change

Climate change has, unfortunately, become an ever-present part of the world we live in today. It affects all of us and is expected to affect us even more in the short future, (and to a more severe degree), if nothing is done. Although in many developed nations, climate change is portrayed as a political topic of debate, it can harm nations not just politically, but socially and economically as well. The most important characteristic of climate change that we must come to accept is that it is a social, economic, and political issue. Its disastrous effects are so ubiquitous in the world we live in that it cannot be handled simply as a political issue. Global warming negatively impacts millions of people across the globe, hindering social systems and in some cases deepening monetary disparity in certain underdeveloped nations. Also, greenhouse gas emissions can harm parts of an economy such as the agricultural sector which can devastate the economies of numerous communities and even nation-states. Our webpage on Climate Change in Costa Rica is designed to show the impacts that global warming has on a nation’s government, people, and economy.

Costa Rica is known as a tropical region with a humid and rainy climate that is prime for growing countless types of produce and crops. Climate change is drastically changing the rain patterns in many areas of the country, which affects the way that farmers go about their day-to-day lives in order to support their families. These unpredictable weather patterns also affect some of the fragile ecosystems of Costa Rica’s rainforests which are central to Costa Rica’s large tourism sector. To combat the major consequences of climate change, the Costa Rican government has created a goal of becoming the very first carbon-neutral nation by the year 2021. This is a huge step for the small nation to take and it sets an example for the rest of the world as well.

In the paragraphs below, we highlight many of the steps that Costa Rica is taking in order to continue their legacy as an environmentally responsible nation and how they are trying to reach their goal of carbon-neutrality. Some of the paragraphs focus on the economic standpoint and how Costa Rican lawmakers are protecting the economy and the environment at the same time. We also provide insight into the social impacts that climate change has on Costa Ricans and how the local people are dealing with the effects of global warming.

We hope that this webpage on climate change will open your eyes to all of the impacts of global warming and that this problem we all are living with must be approached in multiple ways – not simply in a political manner. We must always remember that climate change greatly affects local people and that most of the time, these people take on the heavy responsibility of coping with the negative impacts of climate change.

As always, under our Links and Readings tabs on the top of the page, we have more information that we welcome you to look into if you are more interested in the impacts that climate change has on Costa Rica.

Costa Rica has a goal to become the first carbon-nuetral country by the year 2021. The country is known to be worthy of admiration for its cleaner environment , yet this goal is a huge one. This graph shows the assumed levels of carbon in Costa Rica’s future. Although the emissions seem to be at a lower level, they certainly are not nonexistent. If the future goes accordingly to this graph, Costa Rica will fail to live up to its goal. The country has amazing ideas, but needs a plan to get there.

Carbon-neutrality is only possible when the amount of carbon emitted is less than or equal to the amount of carbon absorbed. This is where Costa Rica’s legendary forests come into play. There has been a notable increase in forest cover in the country since 1983 going from 21% to 52% by 2012. Costa Ricans are relying on the ability of these growing forests so that their goal can be achieved. According to official estimates, Costa Rica will emit 21 tonnes of carbon in 2021, 75% of it able to be absorbed by the forests. These numbers give the Costa Ricans a goal of just how much more carbon emissions need to be reduced for carbon-neutrality to be a reality.