In his first visit to Costa Rica as COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma congratulated President Alvarado for his commitment to ambitious policies to combat climate change and role in protecting biodiversity to strengthen the country’s resilience to climate impacts.
During a two-day visit, Mr Sharma held high-level discussions with President Carlos Alvarado Quesada; Adriana Bolaños Argueta, Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs and Andrea Meza Murillo, Minister of Energy and the Environment on opportunities for cooperation with Costa Rica on climate issues ahead of the UK hosting the important UN climate change talks, COP26, in Glasgow in November 2021.
He also met with Andrés Valenciano Yamuni, Minister of Foreign Trade; Pilar Garrido Gonzalo, Minister of Planning and Economic Policy and André Garnier Kruse, Private Sector Liaison Minister where they discussed climate financing, as well as Costa Rica’s innovative approaches to addressing climate change. Meetings with members of the business community and representatives of youth climate activist groups focussed on private sector-led initiatives in low carbon growth and involving young people in the planning and hosting of COP26.
The programme included a visit to a coffee plantation to see how Costa Rica has implemented one of the first NAMA (Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action) agricultural projects in the world, having adapted its production processes to make them more climate and disease resistant and respectful of the country’s biodiversity. At a visit to a rapid recharging centre, COP26 President-Designate learned about Costa Rica’s progress in electrifying its transport system.
Costa Rica and the wider Latin American and Caribbean region are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. Extreme weather events like hurricanes and droughts have had devastating effects on people’s livelihoods, food production, water resources and human health, and the region will face even greater challenges in the years to come.
Costa Rica’s recently updated, more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) commits the country to taking actions that would help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It also promises a further reduction in emissions, aiming for a maximum of 9.11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030.
The visit comes as the UK prepares to host a Climate and Development Ministerial on 31 March, in which Costa Rica will participate. The global summit will aim to mobilise action to support countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change on the road to COP26 in Glasgow.
COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma, said:
I am delighted to have visited Costa Rica this week to see first hand the action it is taking to fight climate change. It is showing true leadership to slow the pace of climate change and to manage its impacts.
I hope this encourages other countries, whether in the region or further afield. I look forward to Costa Rica joining us to discuss this important issue at the UK-hosted Climate and Development Ministerial meeting later this month.
Alok Sharma also welcomed Costa Rica’s continued engagement through the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, High Ambition Coalition, Global Oceans Alliance and Convention on Biological Diversity. The UK and Costa Rica will continue to work together to push for ambitious and meaningful climate change action.