“Decarbonisation 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,” Mr Alvarado said.
“We have the titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies.”
“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 promised during a victory speech.
But economist Monica Araya, a Costa Rican sustainability expert and director of Costa Rica Limpia, which promotes renewable energy and electric transport, said that in a country already rapidly weaning itself off fossil fuels, focusing on transport – one of the last major challenges – could send a powerful message to the world.
According to data from the State of the Region report, put together by a council of Costa Rica’s university leaders, public transport has struggled to meet the transport needs of the country.
As a result, demand for private vehicles has risen dramatically, with the car industry growing 25 per cent in 2015 alone, making Costa Rica one of the fastest growing auto markets in Latin America, according to the report.
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