Decarbonizing Costa Rica

On Tuesday 17th December 2019, our Managing Partner Mr. Jerome Heelein was invited to attend the special edition of the “So What” series organised by the SDG Lab at the United Nations in Geneva with a panel of high-level diplomats. Speakers were asked to discuss what happens when crossing SDGs 2, 3 and 13.

After an inspiring opening speech by Tatiana Valovaya - Director-General of the United Nations at Geneva, H.E. President Carlos Alvarado Quesada - President of the Republic of Costa Rica - shared some of his country’s decarbonization plan achievements to date.

Amongst others, 99.5% of the energy produced in the country comes from renewable sources and the deforestation process has been reversed. A notable objective consists in consolidating a model of management of rural, urban, and coastal territories that facilitates the protection of biodiversity, the increase and maintenance of forest cover and ecosystem services built on nature-based solutions.

President Alvarado's vision? "Our responsibility is to take the legacy that our ancestors have left us and take it to the next level in order to have an appropriate response for future generations.” (SDG Lab)

How did Costa Rica succeed? Thanks to “stubborn optimism”.

Costa Rica has become the leader in terms of sustainable policy by showing to the world that integrating nature-centric solution at the heart of political preoccupations "can be done". Most importantly, this approach is already generating concrete economic and social results despite its recent inception in 2018.

Mr. Heelein had the opportunity to ask President Alvarado wether Costa Rica is looking at innovative finance mechanisms to invest into the decarbonization plan. It appears to be the case, since traditional funding imitates and hinders the environmental and economic reach of tagetted projects. Rather, a combination of "solutions to address health, food, nutrition and climate change together" (SDG Lab) would unlock the true value of such public policies.

At Winch Capital Partners, we have received this call for action and are already working on adequate solutions to accompany Costa Rica on its path to meet the 2050 objectives.

We wish to thank Elise Buckle, Nadia Isler and the entire SDG Lab team for building much needed bridges between diplomacy and business.

It was a great opportunity to ask a direct question in front of such a distinguished panel, and we're looking forward to building our partnership throughout 2020.

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