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Monica Araya's Climate Innovation Talk is a Study of Costa Rica

By: Joey Haar - Dec 22, 2016
References: ted & youtube
In Monica Araya's climate innovation talk, she focuses on her home country of Costa Rica. Though the nation of five million is small and developing, it boasts a statistic that few other countries in the world can match: Costa Rica's electrical grid is powered with 100 percent renewable energy. The Central American country's energy comes from hydro, geothermal, wind, solar, and biomass sources.

Yet not all is so rosy in Costa Rica. Despite its renewable electricity, 70 percent of the country's energy consumption comes from oil burned to power transportation. In her climate innovation talk, Araya posits that Costa Rica's impressive electrical grid and political will to change transportation make it an ideal test candidate for creating future nations free of fossil fuel consumption.

In the 40s, Costa Rica underwent a military coup. Though such a bloody moment in a country's history is grave, it ultimately (and surprisingly) led to the successful junta writing up a new constitution that abolished the military in the future. This abolition allowed successive generations of Costa Ricans to focus on other things, like the environment. Araya believes that the next great abolition in the country will be the elimination of fossil fuels.