UAE could play key role in climate action with real changes, strict rules, says Costa Rica minister

Country is looking to join alliance to scale up and accelerate the conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems


Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Wed 18 Jan 2023, 7:05 PM

Franz Tattenbach Capra, Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica, is “very positive” about the UAE hosting a successful COP28 and initiating real changes through effective climate conversations.

“I believe the UAE could have an important role in the movement of financial aid for mitigation and adaptation. The UAE could lead a replenishment of the loss and damages fund with strict rules for countries that are not meeting their nationally determined contributions and overall take an action-oriented role towards generating real changes in the climate change discussions,” Capra said in an interview during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.

Costa Rica endorsed Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber as COP-28 president-designate.

“We welcome his appointment and wish him all success.”

Currently, Costa Rica holds the presidency of the Bureau of the Forum of Ministers of Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean – the oldest and most relevant cooperation body for environmental authorities in the region. Costa Rica, Capra said, is looking at possible ways to “start building consensus” on climate positions with the UAE, and also eyeing joining the Mangrove Alliance for Climate (MAC).

Led by the UAE and Indonesia, the MAC seeks to scale up and accelerate the conservation and restoration of mangrove ecosystems for the benefit of communities worldwide.

“Costa Rica is considering joining the alliance. We find it a valuable and interesting project. We can have a very fruitful exchange of cooperation and knowledge, as the lines dividing biodiversity and climate change blurs.”

Asked about the potential bilateral cooperation in the renewable energy sector, the minister said: “There is a good climate for bilateral cooperation between our two countries, not only in financial investment but also as technical cooperation and exchange of experiences.”

On building relations with the UAE in its green hydrogen strategy, Capra noted: “Hydrogen is one of the ways to decarbonise economies, nevertheless, we want to go step by step and cooperation on renewables is something that is already undergoing and we have common points in this segment of de-carbonisation, which we believe is just growing and there is room for even further cooperation.”

The minister is seeking the UAE’s assistance in the NAMA Support Project (NSP) – a national green hydrogen strategy in Costa Rica.

“We have a NAMA on hydrogen and we find space for the UAE to help us develop green hydrogen in buses for tourism. We could exchange technical cooperation as we look for this small-scale project as something else of a pilot. We are studying the possibility of alternative fuels/biofuels produced by the waste of our agriculture production.”

The minister highlighted a need for further investments in renewables, research and capacity building while transiting towards greener energies.

“We want to replicate our model of production in the agro-business as we are launching a new project called Sustainable Landscapes, where we are looking for trade benefits for our agriculture that is very solid and very robust and produces without deforestation and with net zero emissions. So, we are guaranteeing food security with emission consciousness and powered by our all-renewable electricity matrix.”


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