The Government of Costa Rica promotes a bill in Congress that seeks to prohibit the exploration and exploitation of oil and natural gas, in order to consolidate the country’s international “leadership” in environmental matters, as it transpired this past week.
The Executive has control of the legislative agenda in the extraordinary sessions of Congress, so it decided to give priority for discussion and even a possible vote in the coming days to the bill called Law to advance the Elimination of the Use of Fossil Fuels in Costa Rica and Declare the National Territory Free of Oil and Gas Exploration and Exploitation.
This initiative will allow “continuing exercising world leadership in environmental matters and placing ourselves at the forefront of environmental policies,” said the Government of Carlos Alvarado in a statement. “The approval of this initiative will express our country’s willingness to continue along the path of contributing to the global goals to combat climate change and progress towards the promotion and use of sustainable energy,” added the Executive.
Costa Rica, a “world icon” in environmental protection
At present, in Costa Rica oil exploration and exploitation is banned until 2050 by means of a presidential decree, which could be revoked by any president who deems it appropriate. That is why the current government is promoting the prohibition by means of a law. This initiative received the support of a group of 150 non-governmental organizations and companies that make up the Costa Rica Free Drilling Movement, which believes that the law would make the Central American country a “world icon.”
“This bill does not represent any short-term interest but rather the interest of protecting the treasury of our country from a very bad investment in technologies that are declining and are reaching their expiration date at a global level,” declared the former executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and leader of the negotiation of the Paris agreement, the Costa Rican Christiana Figueres.
Towards a more sustainable economy
The lawyer and spokesman for the Costa Rica Free Drilling Movement, Álvaro Cedeño, assured for his part that Costa Rica has all the necessary tools to continue growing and reactivating the economy through sustainable initiatives and proposals. “We have the opportunity to celebrate the bicentennial (of independence) as a world icon that sets the tone and trend towards the best possible future. This position allows us not only to direct attention to the country, but also resources to continue promoting reactivation projects sustainable economy, and opens spaces for our knowledge to be exported and serve as a guide to many other countries,” he said.
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