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Andrea Meza: “Costa Rica isimplementing transportation electrification in a very innovative way”

Andrea Meza: “Costa Rica isimplementing transportation electrification in a very innovative way”

On December 8th during COP24 (in Katowice, Poland) the EUROCLIMA+, programme, funded by the European Union, is organising the talks “Progress and challenges in the implementation of NDCs in Latin America and the Caribbean: How to increase ambition in the region? ” and “EUROCLIMA+  in action: Promoting sustainable mobility with local actors in Latin America”.

Andrea Meza, speaker at both events and focal point of the EUROCLIMA+ programme, is director of Climate Change of the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica. As part of her responsibilities, she is leading the implementation of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in her country, and she facilitates the implementation of the decarbonisation process and resilience generation with sectoral ministries.

Andrea worked for more than 15 years as an international consultant in sustainable development, territorial development, and climate change projects for the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the European Union, and others.

What has been the main progress made in the implementation of NDCs in Costa Rica and Latin America?

The main progress involves the incorporation of the goals proposed in the NDCs in the national planning systems. In the case of Costa Rica, much work is being done to update climate policies in order to raise the level of ambition by considering long-term processes. There are sectoral agreements to reduce emissions such as in the agriculture and transport sectors, and it is also important to incorporate instruments such as the National Development Plan.

How can we contribute to increasing ambition for NDC implementation? What is Costa Rica doing in this process?

Working with long-term strategies is key, aligning them with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and starting the improvement process with consistency in the level of ambition. In Costa Rica, it was essential to position the agenda at the highest political level and also to develop instruments so that more actors at subnational or private enterprise levels can participate in the process.

On the path to aligning country strategies with the objectives of the Paris Agreement, Costa Rica is one of the countries that is promoting sustainable urban mobility. Can you explain what and why is it important to promote this?

Sustainable urban mobility is a system that allows changing the way cities are planned and operated, where non-motorised modes are prioritised and the visions of more compact and efficient cities are incorporated into territorial use. It is an integration of urban planning using sustainability paradigms under a vision more oriented to mass media. It requires an integrated intervention of the urban and transportation parts, with more green spaces and with electric means of transport, which are key in the global context. The electrification of transport is part of a very important agenda to accelerate the energy transition.

What progress has Costa Rica made in sustainable mobility?

In the case of Costa Rica, a strong emphasis is being made for some key projects such as the electrification of a commuter train and the modernisation of the entire public transport system. In the area of sustainable mobility, we have much to learn from Colombia and Argentina, which have a history of planning processes and sustainable mobility, as does Mexico.

Costa Rica is implementing the transport electrification process in a very novel way: there are political guidelines to move forward in this regard, a transport electrification incentive law, a national electric transport plan and a series of complementary regulations have been issued. In addition, there is a State procurement guideline to encourage the use of zero emission technologies.

The key element is to continue integrating these issues into the planning and public investment systems agenda, and Costa Rica is innovating along these lines. In addition, the issue of decarbonisation and resilience is being integrated as one of the key national objectives. 

For more information

If you are attending COP24, we invite you to participate in the two side events organised by EUROCLIMA+:

Progress and challenges in the implementation of NDCs in Latin America and the Caribbean: How to increase ambition in the region?

Time: 9:00 am (GMT+1)  
Venue: NDC Partnership Pavillion, Hall E #22

EUROCLIMA+ in action: Promoting sustainable mobility with local actors in Latin America

Time: 10:30 am (GMT+1)
Venue: European Pavilion, Brussels Hall

Stay updated on both events here: https://www.facebook.com/events/270464096946590/ 

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