Published Wednesday, March 24, 2021
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff and wire services
In his first visit to the country last week, as UN climate change conference or COP26 President-Designate, Alok Sharma congratulated President Carlos Alvarado for "his commitment to ambitious policies to combat climate change and role in protecting biodiversity to strengthen the country’s resilience to climate impacts," according to the U.K. Cabinet Office.
The Cabinet Office is a department of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for supporting the prime minister and Cabinet of the United Kingdom.
"I am delighted to have visited Costa Rica this week to see first hand the action it is taking to fight climate change. It is showing true leadership to slow the pace of climate change and to manage its impacts," Sharma said. "I hope this encourages other countries, whether in the region or further afield. I look forward to Costa Rica joining us to discuss this important issue at the U.K.-hosted Climate and Development Ministerial meeting later this month."
During a two-day visit, Sharma held meetings with President Alvarado and other representatives from public institutions. Topics discussed highlighted opportunities for cooperation with Costa Rica on climate issues ahead of the U.K. hosting the COP26, in Glasgow scheduled for November 2021.
Sharma also met with Andrés Valenciano, Minister of Foreign Trade, where they discussed climate financing, as well as Costa Rica’s innovative approaches to addressing climate change.
"(There were) Meetings with members of the business community and representatives of youth climate activist groups focused on private sector-led initiatives in low carbon growth and involving young people in the planning and hosting of COP26," the Cabinet said in its statement.
Sharma's agenda included a visit to the Aquiares Coffee Estate farm, located in Cartago Province, which produces low-emission coffee, to see how Costa Rica has implemented one of the first Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Action agricultural projects in the world, having adapted its production processes to make them more climate, disease resistant and respectful of the country’s biodiversity.
Sharma also visited several EV charging stations located in the country to learn about the country's progress in transforming its transport system to electric.
"Costa Rica and the wider Latin American and Caribbean regions are already experiencing the impacts of climate change," the UK government said in its statement. "Extreme weather events like hurricanes and droughts have had devastating effects on people’s livelihoods, food production, water resources and human health, and the region will face even greater challenges in the years to come.”
According to the U.K. Government, the country recently updated to a more ambitious Nationally Determined Contribution committing to take actions that would help limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. "It also promises a further reduction in emissions, aiming for a maximum of 9.11 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2030," they added.
The visit comes as the U.K. prepares to host a Climate and Development Ministerial on March 31, in which Costa Rica will participate. The global summit will aim to mobilize action to support countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change on the road to COP26 in Glasgow.
Sharma also welcomed Costa Rica’s continued engagement through the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, High Ambition Coalition, Global Oceans Alliance and Convention on Biological Diversity.
"The U.K. and Costa Rica will continue to work together to push for ambitious and meaningful climate change action,” the Cabinet said in its statement.
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