Costa Rica

The National Consultative Committee (CCN) of Costa Rica met on April 19 to discuss and approve the work strategy for the implementation of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM Americas), a project financed by the European Union, in the country.

During the meeting, the coordinator of the project for the Americas, Jordan Harris, congratulated the national coordinators for «embedding activities in the strategy that complement each other in order to directly and indirectly reach all the municipalities committed to this important alliance in Costa Rica.»

Felipe Armijo, Governance, Peace and Security Project Officer of the European Union Delegation in Costa Rica, stated that “the European Union (EU) is convinced that climate action is increasingly urgent. The IPCC report provides us with more and more alarming data on the effects of climate change in the short, medium and long term,” recognizing the key role of local governments in advancing climate-resilient development.

“The Global Covenant of Mayors is the main channel of EU support to cities to prepare for and face the effects of climate change. In Costa Rica, we remember that very interesting products were generated in the first phase of the project, and we trust that they will continue to be useful for the municipalities and for the institutions involved. We trust that the action plan discussed today allows us to take the lessons learned from this first phase and scale them up to continue advancing on the path of resilient and inclusive cities, as well as their multilevel integration for a climate agenda for Costa Rica”, concluded Armijo.

The work will be developed within the next two years, with the coordination of the National Union of Local Governments (UNGL) and the National University of Costa Rica (UNA). Both institutionswill work together to implement the activities financed by the European Union through GCoM Americas.

Axes of the Costa Rican GCoM National Strategy

The strategy has five axes: technical assistance, synergies, visibility, project structuring and financing, reporting and training. Its main activities seek to align and articulate with the goals of the new Nationally Determined Contribution of Costa Rica (NDC, 2020), as well as with the guidelines, methodologies and reporting systems of the two programs that the Climate Change Directorate (DCC) has been developing with local governments, the Cantonal Carbon Neutrality Country Program (PPCNC 2.0) and Plan A for Resilient Territories.

This also means establishing mechanisms or facilities so that local governments can translate the rules of the Covenant into national programs and vice versa, especially to comply with the corresponding reports, both the CDP-ICLEI Track platform, and the National Climate Change Metrics System from Costa Rica.

The Executive Director of the UNGL, Karen Porras, thanked the collaboration and the work carried out through the GCoM, «so that local authorities can generate an entire action in favor of the municipal people, which generates such a beneficial impact, not only at the country level, but at the global level, so relevant in the actions against climate change focused on the vision of sustainable development”.

Vanessa Valerio, Researcher at the School of Environmental Sciences, represented UNA, together with Alina Aguilar, and pointed out the need to keep the actions flowing. “In Costa Rica, we have made enormous progress in recent years in climate action with climate governance that involves international cooperation, academia, public institutions, local governments and sectors of civil society, and we cannot give ourselves a chance to go back» she said.