Establishment, membership and meetings
The Costa Rican Legislative Assembly is the unicameral legislature of Costa Rica and is composed of 57 deputies. GLOBE Costa Rica is one of the biggest cross-party parliamentary groups with 13 members.
On 27 June 2013, Deputy Alfonso Pérez Gómez, President of the Special Standing Committee on Environment and President of GLOBE Costa Rica, introduced a motion to recognise the establishment of GLOBE Costa Rica in the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly. The motion was passed unanimously.
In presenting the motion Deputy Pérez Gómez to said:
"we cannot isolate ourselves from the world and the world today is discussing major issues such as climate change, natural capital accounting in public budgets, the valuation of ecosystem benefits, forests and water management."
"Partnering with an organisation like GLOBE International is a great alternative for our Legislative Assembly to existing external cooperation resources. Through this link we can develop knowledge and schedule exchange activities in Costa Rica open to honourable colloeagues who are members of GLOBE Costa Rica members and to members of the Environmental Commission to participate in."
“With better training and increased access to knowledge, we can do a better job as policy-makers."
In April 2012, Deputy Alfonso Pérez Gómez in his quality of President of the GLOBE Costa Rica chapter participated in a GLOBE delegation to the World Bank in Washington D.C. to discuss legislative responses adopted by Latin American countries to contrast Climate Change (read report from the World Bank website).
GLOBE Costa Rica sent delegations to the 1st GLOBE Natural Capital Summit in Berlin and to the International Conference on Climate Change Adaptation in Beijing in 2013.
Costa Rica's Legislative Assembly and Central Bank voice support for natural capital accounting
Following the commitment to raise awareness of natural capital accounting in national parliaments signed at the 1st GLOBE Natural Capital Summit in Berlin of 6-8, GLOBE Costa Rica President Hon. Alfonso Pérez Gómez MP invited the Costa Rican task force of the World Bank WAVES Partnership to present the project to the Members of the Environment Committee of the Costa Rican Legislative Assembly and to report on their progress to the legislators on a quarterly basis.
The first session took place on 8th August in a formal sitting of the Environment Committee of the Legislative Assembly. The WAVES Costa Rica team represented by Dr Luis Rivera, project Director, and by Mr Roberto Guzmán, coordinator at the Environment Ministry (MINAE). The GLOBE Natural Capital Initiative Director Rafael J. Aybar was invited to present the outcomes of the 1st Natural Capital Summit. In the exchange of views that followed the presentations the legislators asked how the WAVES initiative was different from prior environmental accounting exercises which were discontinued as they “failed to become institutionalised”. They also took interest in the experience of Peru advancing natural capital-related legislation.
The WAVES team explained the methodological innovations of the project. The GNCI Director emphasised that parliamentary engagement would be indispensable to secure the institutionalisation of the new accounts, but also earlier on to allocate the appropriate resources to construct the accounts themselves, and later on to ensure that public policies would be recast as needed in light of the new data about the national wealth. The exchange of views was followed by a vote on a Motion in support of the WAVES project in Costa Rica and of the advancement of environmental accounting as a tool for public policy design which was passed by unanimity.
GLOBE Costa Rica forwarded the Motion to the Central Bank of Costa Rica, as a local WAVES implementing partner. In response the Manager of the Central Bank of Costa Rica, Mr. Félix Delgado, reiterated in writing the support of the Central Bank of Costa Rica to WAVES, acknowledged the importance of advancing the implementation of the SEEAs and of integrating these into the national accounts, and proposed to work in this sense in cooperation with the World Bank once the ongoing actualisation of the national accounts is completed in 2015.
GLOBE Costa Rica tables draft Climate law in the Legislative Assembly
The law would reduce the carbon footprint of the Costa Rican economy and to establish the national goal of carbon-neutrality combined with a robust monitoring, reporting and verification system to strengthen the leadership of Costa Rica on sustainable development. The proposal is inspired by Mexico's pioneering Framework Climate Law and proposes the establishment of a National Climate Change Committee (Conclima) as a body separate from the Environment Ministry.
The committee would be integrated by the Ministers of the Environment (MINAE), Planning (MIDEPLAN), Government (MAG), Education (MEP), Health (MISALUD), Public Works (MOPT), the National Energy Committee (CNE), the National Meteorological Institute (IMN), the National Water and Sanitation Institute (AyA), the Council of University Rectors (CONARE), the National Union of Local Governments (UNGL) and indigenous peoples representatives in order to elaborate, implement and control the National Plan on Climate Change (PNCC) with an emphasis on mitigation and adaptation. The PNCC will be revised and updated every two years, on the basis of international and regional climate agreements. All public institutions shall develop vulnerability reduction, adaptation and mitigation plans, to be updated and revised every two years. These will be integrated in primary and secondary education as part of the climate change-related syllabus, in order to build up the capacity of the new generations to develop informed decisions on mitigation and adaptation actions.
The law aims to reduce Costa Rica’s carbon footprint, reduce pollution, improve production alternatives and to address the finding of the NEEDS 2011 Study, which estimates that the total investment required for climate change mitigation amounted to $ 7,800 million, equivalent to 30% of Costa Rica’s GDP in 2009. The bill seeks to respond to the Comptroller General of the Republic, which reported that the institutions responsible for addressing climate change have failed to move beyond a general framework and that it is not clear what is the official body responsible for implementing and coordinating climate change actions in Costa Rica. Law 18,860, on the creation of a legal framework to counter the effects of Climate Change in Costa Rica, is now being debated by assembly members sitting on the Environment Committee.
THe Hon. Pérez Gómez stressed that one of the purposes of the law "is to create and finance the institutional framework needed to face the challenge of climate change in the coming years."
Download the Costa Rican Draft Law on Climate Change
- Click here (PDF Spanish only)