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Update on NRDC/E2 Efforts in Costa Rica

In June 2007, representatives from NRDC and E2 visited Costa Rica to discuss with government officials ways in which we could help the country meet its goal, announced by President Óscar Arias, to become carbon neutral by 2021. One month later, E2 participants on the trip discussed the outcomes and challenges. The country decided to tackle efficiency in the electricity sector first and in the months since our first visit, a concerted lobbying effort has led to a pilot project in the town of Aquiares to distribute compact-fluorescent light bulbs (two bulbs at $1.00 each available per home) and monitor the use of the bulbs and any changes in electricity consumption. Initial data compiled this past month in Aquiares shows a 22 percent reduction in energy use – much higher than expected! (Costa Rica’s national utility, ICE, has a webpage on the Aquiares project.) Although Costa Rica has a long way to go, we are encouraged by the example of Aquiares and the close relationships NRDC and E2 have with the Ministry of Energy & Environment.

To read more about this effort and the Aquiares pilot project, including E2 member Lee Stein’s involvement, please download our 3-page update (a PDF document).

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