San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

U.S. donates $1.5 million to Costa Rica’s carbon neutrality mission

The U.S. government pledged $1.5 million to assist Costa Rica’s push for carbon neutrality. During a ceremony Thursday afternoon at Hotel Cariari, northwest of San José, U.S. Ambassador to Costa Rica, Anne S. Andrew, and Environment, Energy and Telecommunications Minister René Castro signed a cooperation agreement to “strengthen the capacity” of Costa Rica’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Costa Rica has set an ambitious goal to be the world’s first-ever carbon neutral country by 2021.

Funds would distributed according to the “fast-start financing” agreement signed by the U.S. and other developed countries during the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark in December 2009. During the summit, wealthier nations pledged to contribute nearly $30 billion from 2010-2012 to mitigate climate change in developing countries. The U.S. committed to donate $3 billion.

According to a press release from the U.S. Embassy in Costa Rica, the primary objective of the cooperation agreement is to establish long-term initiatives to create an economy based on carbon neutrality.

“Under the leadership of President Barack Obama, the U.S. has done more to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases than ever before, using internal policies to achieve advances in the promotion of clean development,” said Andrew on Thursday. “The commitment of Costa Rica to be carbon neutral in 2021 offers an important example for other countries in the region and world. The U.S. is pleased to cooperate with Costa Rica to help accelerate the transition towards a future with lower carbon levels and a cleaner and healthier planet for future generations.”

The signing ceremony was held at the conclusion of the sixth Latin American and Caribbean Carbon Forum at the Hotel Cariari last week.

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