Costa Rica president: Fossil fuel-free future not not possible however disinformation a menace

, Costa Rica president: Fossil fuel-free future not not possible however disinformation a menace


  • Costa Rican president says massive coverage shifts not ‘not possible’
  • However local weather change disinformation a menace to wanted modifications
  • Costa Rica leads new alliance of countries ending oil and fuel use

GLASGOW, Nov 5 (Thomson Reuters Basis) – The small Central American nation of Costa Rica has managed some revolutionary modifications over the previous century – from totally disbanding its navy to offering common healthcare protection and restoring huge acreage of misplaced tropical forests.

In making these modifications, its folks have achieved a greater life expectancy than U.S. residents, and Costa Rica has change into an upper-middle-income nation with a inexperienced economic system powered by hydro-electricity and constructed partly round ecotourism.

“Everyone mentioned it was not possible,” mentioned Costa Rica’s President Carlos Alvarado Quesada, who’s attending the COP26 U.N. local weather negotiations this week in Glasgow.

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However Costa Rica – like most nations world wide – now faces one other large problem: wresting its economic system totally onto a path that ends the usage of climate-wrecking fossil fuels whereas enhancing high quality of life and prospects for its folks.

Quesada is cautiously optimistic that transformation can occur, not simply in his already-green nation however in others too, the place the shift will likely be a lot more durable.

“When folks say it is not possible to maneuver to a future freed from fossil fuels, proof factors in the wrong way,” he informed the Thomson Reuters Basis in an interview.

Subsequent week, Costa Rica and Denmark will launch a brand new “Past Oil and Fuel Alliance” (BOGA), whose members search a “managed phase-out of oil and fuel manufacturing to align with Paris Settlement targets”.

That alliance goals to finish all fossil gas exploration and manufacturing inside member nations – a step past a dedication this week by 25 nations, growth banks and nationwide groupings to finish public finance for many fossil gas exploration and manufacturing abroad by the top of 2022.

Costa Rica’s legislature in July was scheduled to contemplate a measure to ban oil and fuel exploration and exploitation within the nation, a transfer hotly opposed by its Chamber of Industries.

After some changes, the measure is now again earlier than lawmakers and more likely to cross, Quesada mentioned, saying the nation was “the closest we have ever been to attaining that (aim)”.

Organisers of the COP26 talks have made ending finance for coal energy, the dirtiest fossil gas – in addition to profitable commitments to finish its use for energy manufacturing – a significant aim.

However the Worldwide Vitality Company has mentioned that to maintain planetary heating to 1.5 levels Celsius, the extra formidable aim of the Paris Settlement, new funding in not simply coal but in addition oil and pure fuel wants to finish this 12 months.

Quesada mentioned every nation must struggle its personal home political battles and discover its personal path to creating such swift modifications – and guarantee its residents are introduced alongside.

“We can not have international agreements… which are going to be unjust and unfair,” whether or not to indigenous folks or coal staff who’re shedding their jobs, he added, warning a “one-size-fits-all” method to securing a inexperienced transition would fail.


One large problem to profitable consensus for change inside nations and on the worldwide stage is widespread political polarisation pushed partly by disinformation, notably on social media, the president mentioned.

A report out this week from environmental oversight teams analysed knowledge on Fb and located tens of 1000’s of adverts and posts downplaying or denying local weather change threats.

The Actual Fb Oversight Board, one of many teams behind the research, referred to as in a press release for an investigation into Fb’s “harmful unfold of local weather disinformation”.

Fb officers have mentioned they’re working to restrict the issue and to ship customers to credible sources of local weather data.

Quesada mentioned widespread falsehoods about local weather change had been driving divisions and making it more durable to seek out settlement in multilateral settings just like the COP26 talks.

“If we’re to guard our democracies, I believe one thing should be completed,” he mentioned. “There may be increasingly proof that(social media algorithms) have weakened democracy.”


Insufficient finance to assist poorer nations shift to a greener path and adapt to worsening local weather impacts additionally has been a roadblock at COP26, with a promise by rich nations to supply $100 billion a 12 months in finance ranging from 2020 nonetheless unmet.

The nationwide local weather motion plans of many poorer nations rely on such finance, and the so-far unfulfilled aim has undermined belief within the talks by weak nations.

Quesada mentioned richer nations ought to look onerous at their budgets to seek out the lacking money, together with redirecting billions in navy spending on costly new submarines.

“Why not use that cash to avoid wasting the world and never destroy it?” he requested.

However he additionally mentioned all nations should work as onerous as they’ll, utilizing their very own assets and with out ready for others, to drive wanted inexperienced shifts, as a failure to handle surging local weather threats would endanger everybody.

“If we get into that sort of debate – that we’re not going to advance until the others advance – no one goes to maneuver in any respect,” he mentioned.

“We must always do something and every little thing in our palms to repair this,” he added.

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Reporting by Laurie Goering @lauriegoering; enhancing by Megan Rowling. Please credit score the Thomson Reuters Basis, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters. Go to <a href=” weather” goal=”_blank”> weather</a>

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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