The long road to a zero-carbon country

BBC discusses the long road to a zero-carbon country. Costa Rica has the ambition to reach net zero-carbon by 2050. It’s gone a long way already, but how will its polluted capital clean up?

Costa Rica – an ecological paradise of sandy beaches, protected tropical forests and pristine waterfalls, right? Include its 99% renewable electricity and bold plans to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, and the country is often considered one of the greenest there is.

But for those familiar with its capital, San José, a different picture emerges. The reality of life here in the heart of the country’s central valley can feel far less eco-friendly. San José’s streets are typically full to brimming with cars, daily traffic jams and often-unreliable public transport.

Under lockdown, which in Costa Rica has seen strict limits imposed on when people can use their cars, traffic has slowed significantly. But as restrictions start to be lifted, the question arises as to whether San José can become a cleaner and less car-dependent city in normal times.

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