Costa Rica Nears Carbon-Neutral Goal

In its August issue (released this week), International Living magazine reports that Costa Rica is nearing a goal it set for itself in 2007…to be carbon-neutral in time for the country’s 200th birthday in 2021.

Three years after making that pledge, Costa Rica is practically there. It already produces 90% of its electricity from renewable sources—mostly hydropower, wind and geothermal. Next, it will add solar to the mix, introduce electric trains and buses, move to clean bio-diesel and bio-ethanol fuel for cars, and help reforest its jungles.

Costa Rica is a world leader on green issues, with more than a quarter of its territory devoted to protected areas like national parks and biological reserves.

International Living also reports that Costa Rica was recently ranked as the happiest place on earth, due in large part to these same ecological policies.

According to the Happy Planet Index (HPI) compiled by the New Economics Foundation, Costa Ricans have the highest life satisfaction in the world. At the same time, they live longer than Americans yet have an ecological footprint that is less than a quarter the size.

The difference, says the report, shows that it is possible to live long, happy lives without the tremendous burden on the world’s resources found in the world’s highest-consuming nations.

International Living has been covering Costa Rica as a top retirement haven for many years, thanks to its eco-conscious policies, lack of standing army, relatively low cost of living and world-class health care system. The country is a favorite with retirees and second-home buyers from the U.S. and Canada and is also a hotspot for medical tourism. Last month, International Living named Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula as one of the healthiest places on earth to live in its Health Index.

Editor’s Note: Click on the video below to see Dan Prescher and Suzan Haskins update on Costa Rica. In this video, Dan and Suzan run through just some of the merits of living in this beautiful country. These benefits (and many more) are the reason International Living is holding its next Live and Invest conference in San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, this August.

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