GLOBE Costa Rica President introduces Climate Law in the Legislative Assembly

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Law 18,860 seeks to create a legal framework to counter the effects of Climate Change in Costa Rica

GLOBE Costa Rica President introduces Climate Law in the Legislative Assembly

GLOBE Costa Rica President, the Hon. Alfonso Pérez Gómez MP has submitted a proposed Climate law in the Legislative Assembly of Costa Rica.

The law would reduce the carbon footprint of the Costa Rican economy and establish the national goal of carbon-neutrality combined with a robust monitoring, reporting and verification system to strengthen the leadership of Costa Rica on sustainable development.

The proposal is inspired by Mexico's pioneering Framework Climate Law and proposes the establishment of a National Climate Change Committee (Conclima) as a body separate from the Environment Ministry.

The committee would be integrated by the Ministers of the Environment (MINAE), Planning (MIDEPLAN), Government (MAG), Education (MEP), Health (MISALUD), Public Works (MOPT), the National Energy Committee (CNE), the National Meteorological Institute (IMN), the National Water and Sanitation Institute (AyA), the Council of University Rectors (CONARE), the National Union of Local Governments (UNGL) and indigenous peoples representatives in order to elaborate, implement and control the National Plan on Climate Change (PNCC) with an emphasis on mitigation and adaptation. The PNCC will be revised and updated every two years, on the basis of international and regional climate agreements.

All public institutions shall develop vulnerability reduction, adaptation and mitigation plans, to be updated and revised every two years. These will be integrated in primary and secondary education as part of the climate change-related syllabus, in order to build up the capacity of the new generations to develop informed decisions on mitigation and adaptation actions.

The law aims to reduce Costa Rica's carbon footprint, reduce pollution, improve production alternatives and to address the finding of the NEEDS 2011 Study, which estimates that the total investment required for climate change mitigation amounted to $7,800 million, equivalent to 30% of Costa Rica's GDP in 2009. The bill seeks to respond to the Comptroller General of the Republic, which reported that the institutions responsible for addressing climate change have failed to move beyond a general framework and that it is not clear what is the official body responsible for implementing and coordinating climate change actions in Costa Rica.

Law 18,860 on the creation of a legal framework to counter the effects of Climate Change in Costa Rica, is currently going through Committee Stage. During the plenary session of the Legislative Assembly of Wednesday 11 September 2013 it was assigned to the Standing Committee on Agricultural and Natural Resources.

Hon. Pérez Gómez stressed that one of the purposes of the law "is to create and finance the institutional framework needed to face the challenge of climate change in the coming years."

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