Costa Rica Wants to Become World's First Carbon-Free Country

Costa Rica is also in the midst of making the lives of its citizens better in several other ways.


(mbrand85 /

When Carlos Alvarado Quesada was elected as Costa Rica's new president earlier this year, his first act in office was to take a giant step forward in reducing carbonization, a historic move that also nods to the country’s dedication to cleaning up the environment. During his first speech as a world leader, Alvarado announced an initiative to create the first carbon-free society.

And while it’s no modest goal, the president is hopeful and eager to get rid of the fossil fuels created by their transportation system by 2021. During his inauguration, he told the excited crowd that "decarbonization is the great task of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first."


The country already sets an example for its work in environmentalism, generating 99 percent of its electricity from hydropower, wind, and other renewable resources. After already making (green) waves, Costa Rica decided to turn its attention to significantly lowering the amount of fossil fuel emissions from its transportation system, all in time to celebrate the nation’s 200th anniversary of achieving its independence.

"When we reach 200 years of independent life we will take Costa Rica forward and celebrate...that we've removed gasoline and diesel from our transportation," he said.

Costa Rica is also in the midst of making the lives of its citizens better in several other ways. In a recent column, journalist Joseph Stiglitz wrote that the country is part of the Wellbeing Economies Alliance, which “seeks to ensure that public policy advances citizens' wellbeing in the broadest sense, by promoting democracy, sustainability, and inclusive growth," through advocating for sustainability, inclusive growth, and democracy.

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