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Why Australia Should Take Sustainability Cues from Costa Rica

Those legends achieved 99 percent renewable energy use in 2015. Kudos.
By Imogen Baker
December 29, 2015
By Imogen Baker
December 29, 2015

Costa Rica, the little nation that could, has achieved 99 percent renewable energy use in 2015 — and is subsequently putting us all to shame in the sustainable energy race. Capitalising on their abundance of jungles and waterfalls, Costa Rica are able to use hydroelectricity as their primary source of renewable energy, which has seen them achieve almost complete independence from fossil fuel use in the past year. Woah. We should really pay attention and learn from their example.

By contrast, the Australian government leans further into non-renewables, actively takes backwards steps in regulating big polluters, and drags its feet on meeting renewable energy targets. In June of this year, the government even reduced our target of large-scale renewable energy generation from 41,000 GWh to 33,000 GWh, and made a limp little pledge to increase our renewables to 23.5% by 2020. We are literally the Daria playing volleyball of environmentalism. Even New Zealand has a 2025 renewable target of 90%. Like, come on Australia — you're not even going to pretend to reach for that volleyball, are you?

The big bogeyman that's always rolled out in regards to renewable energy — or anything to do with environmental progress, really — is the cost to the consumer and the loss of jobs. But Costa Ricans have seen energy costs drop by 12% in the last year alone; New Zealanders too enjoyed price drops when they started to phase into renewable energy in 2014. Can we please get a slice of that action? AC has been so pricey this summer. What with all the global warming and all.

Sigh. Costa Rica, we salute you.

Via Inhabitat. Image: Dennis Tang via Flickr

Published on December 29, 2015 by Imogen Baker

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