Costa Rica is ahead of the U.S. in basically every aspect of environmentalism. In the 1990’s the country decided to actually do something to protect its environment, which is also the basis of its tourism. In the past 24 years Costa Rica went from getting 50 percent of its energy from hydroelectricity and 50 percent from oil, to getting 95 percent of its energy from renewables.
Five years ago, oil was found in Costa Rica and the government decided not to drill so as to preserve the local ecosystem — a novel idea.
“In 1997 Costa Rica imposed a tax on carbon emissions — 3.5 percent of the market value of fossil fuels — which goes into a national forest fund to pay indigenous communities for protecting the forests around them.”