The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, participated on Monday 25 January in the opening session of the Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS), which seeks to accelerate, innovate and expand the world’s efforts to adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change.
The activity was organised by the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, the Global Commission on Adaptation and the Global Adaptation Centre with the aim of addressing the current situation, dramatically altered by COVID-19, and providing a response that helps key actors in society to build climate resilience in the most effective ways forward.
In his presentation, the Costa Rican president referred to several of the guidelines and actions on climate adaptation to which Costa Rica committed in the recent update of its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), in compliance with the commitments made after the ratification of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Commenting that climate change is a human rights issue, he underlined how the 2020 hurricane season showed once again the severe social, labour and health impacts that the climate crisis will continue to bring, if we do not transform our mindset towards new paradigms of development and social, green and inclusive contracts.
After his speech, the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, highlighted the role and leadership of our country in environmental issues. “Costa Rica is one of the most climate and environmentally friendly countries,” he said, noting that, despite its size, it has been able to generate great impacts and indicating that we have the authority to talk about the issue.
The Summit also featured presentations by the co-chair of the Global Commission on Adaptation Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, European Commissioner Frans Timmermans and Chinese Vice Premier Han Zheng, who will exchange experiences and ideas on measures to adapt the planet to a changing climate.
President Alvarado’s intervention. The President of Costa Rica participated in the “Leaders in Communities and Partnerships” panel along with the Prime Minister of Aruba, Evelyn Wever-Croes; the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi; and the President of Korea, Moon Jae-In; among others.
He highlighted – among other actions undertaken by Costa Rica in the climate change strategy – the Plan-A project, an initiative that involves current and future climate risk assessments for the country’s 82 cantons.
He also referred to progress in national adaptation planning by providing technical guidelines, assistance and training to local governments to incorporate adaptation actions into their strategic and territorial planning processes.
In the spirit of article 2.1.c of the Paris Agreement and climate finance, a process coordinated by the Department of Sustainable Development and Environment of the Foreign Ministry, the Costa Rican president mentioned the design of a financing strategy to scale up adaptation actions on the ground.
It envisages new financing mechanisms through the Payment for Environmental Services Programme and other carbon pricing, fiscal and tariff instruments, as well as the inclusion of adaptation criteria in national financing and planning instruments and nature-based solutions as adaptation alternatives.