Costa Rica’s newly elected President Carlos Alvarado has just announced a nationwide ban on fossil fuels, which is part of his plans to create a decarbonized society. Alvarado, who was a former journalist and political scientist, claims that Decarbonization is one of the most ambitious goals of our time, and Costa Rica has to be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first.
He further stated that his country had the Titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in their economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies. He said this during his inauguration speech Wednesday from the Plaza de la Democracy.
A crowd of some 2,000 people listened to their leader when he reiterated his campaign promises to reduce the fiscal deficit by 50 percent, increase white-collar crime-fighting initiatives, and efficiently distribute public finances to accomplish the country’s goals.
President Alvarado further said that that day he received this (presidential) badge with the full understanding that to have all of his people and the country itself is the greatest honor that can be given and the greatest responsibility.
One of the youngest world leaders
At 38, making him Costa Rica’s youngest ever president, Alvarado is keen to lead the way in environmental initiatives as the world’s decarbonization laboratory, which also meets the demands of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Under former President Barack Obama, the United States had pledged as part of the Paris accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 in order to help slow global warming. However, one year later, his successor, Donald Trump, announced the U.S.’s withdrawal from the Concord.
Other countries, including China and the European Union, have reiterated their pledge to continue implementing it, while nations across the Caribbean and Latin America, such as the Bahamas and Chile, have announced bans on plastic bags and other single-use items.
What’s Happening in Chile
A notice arrived in Chile’s Congressional court from President Sebastian PiñeraTuesday proposing a nationwide ban on plastic bags. He said the damages to both the environment and health had been alarming as of late, and he aims to combat it with this ban. The president said in a Facebook Live message that a bag is manufactured in a minute, used for half an hour and remains for 400 years in our nature.
Approximately 3,400 million bags cycle through the Chilean commercial market from the distributor, retailer, and finally to the consumer. Piñera continued the message by asking where the plastic bags went, which is actually in landfills, in the fields, in the mountain range, and in the sea. Studies have shown that over 90% of seabirds have plastic in their stomachs.
An average person uses over 200 plastic bags and a veritable island of plastic bags the size of Mexico floats between Chile and Peru, he continued. They cause great damage to nature, in the environment and also the country’s health. The president determinedly said that they must go back about using gender and recycling bags, abandon the life of the disposable culture and give it a strong mandate to take care of the environment
Last year, former President Michelle Bachelet actually initiated a plastic-bag ban in over 100 coastal towns. Consequently, some 1.6 million square kilometers of marine habitats are now protected because of this, which is ten times more than what was instituted in 2014. Additionally, the fossil fuels used in plastic production contribute to air pollution through the immense consumption of energy and are one of the primary factors linked to greenhouse gases and climate change.
The South American nation battled its share of natural disasters last year. In January, the country faced the worst wildfires in its history, requiring international assistance to control the flames from spreading. One month later, heavy rains and major flooding left over 350 destitute and at least three dead.