Costa Rica has set an unconditional target in its 2020 NDC which translates to emissions of around 12 MtCO₂e/yr in 2030 excluding LULUCF, or 10-14% below 2015 emission levels. Current policy projections show that if the country reaches the maximum potential of its current policies, it would be on track to meet its NDC.
Costa Rica’s NDC is not conditional on international support, though Costa Rica has also highlighted the ‘need of financial support, technology transfer and capacity’ as an impact of the pandemic. Paris Agreement compatible emissions pathways would require a 37% emissions reduction below 2015 levels or 9 MtCO₂e/yr excluding LULUCF by 2030.
Costa Rica has set a goal to reach net zero GHG emissions (including LULUCF) by 2050, indicating a projected sink of -5.5 MtCO₂e/yr by 2050.
1.5°C compatible pathways would require Costa Rica to reach a level of remaining GHG emissions lower than 2 MtCO₂e/yr excluding LULUCF by 2050 (or 88% below 2015 levels). Costa Rica’s projected land sink indicates that the country is well positioned to balance its remaining emissions by 2050.
When excluding the contribution of land sinks, the main driver of negative emissions is the energy sector, where some models show already negative CO₂ emissions by 2040 from bioenergy carbon capture and storage (BECCS). This continues balancing ongoing emissions of methane and other non-CO₂ GHGs from the agriculture, industry and waste sectors.
The transport sector will play a key role in decarbonisation. If the use of fossil fuel vehicles continues past 2050, carbon dioxide removal approaches, including from the land sector, would be needed to counteract these emissions and keep Costa Rica compatible with 1.5°C pathways.