First Lady Claudia Dobles is ranked No. 15 on Fortune’s “World’s Greatest Leaders” list, which features “men and women who transform the world and encourage others to do the same thing.” With a promise to “decarbonize” Costa Rica by 2050, Dobles helped her husband, Carlos Alvarado, win the 2018 election. She is now an architect and urban planner in charge of making this commitment a reality — setting deadlines, brokering partnerships, and raising money.
Dobles introduced a new transport system for Costa Rica in February 2019, concentrating on walking, cycling and an electric train. The train will act as San José’s spinal cord, and she wants it to run on electricity alone by 2050. Dobles inaugurated the country’s network of electric vehicle charging stations in early April.
The participation of women in environmental protection would help communities establish the sense of responsibility, by making households a part of the renewable ecosystem. According to the World Bank in 1991, women play an essential role in managing natural resources, including land, water, forests and electricity, and often have a profound knowledge of the natural world around them.
The national decarbonization strategy introduced in February is a holistic plan of action that recognizes that decarbonization is related to the economy and is a complex process. It’s based on two big areas.
The first is the whole issue of transport, where the office of the first lady is working more actively together. And the other is the agri-food sector, in terms of how funding can be provided to generate technology that can reduce that sector’s carbon emissions. If it can make improvements to its transport infrastructure, the country can make great strides towards zero emissions. For a sustainable future, cities must be planned. Because of global warming and technological disruption, it is our duty to turn our city-making vision into a more dynamic and participatory process, “Dobles emphasized.
Today Costa Rica has sewed off the use of fossil fuels for heavily relying on hydroelectric, wind and geothermal power generation. In their infancy, solar and biomass power remain. The nation is First World in its attempts to be entirely off fossil fuels for electricity. Also Costa Rican homes, the most remote and modest, have electric lighting.
Although making the decision to go green may be inevitable, a huge effort involving international cooperation and banks will be required to move forward. “This is an investment,” Dobles says. This is in a time investment with our families. It’s an investment in our country’s competitiveness.
For Dobles, the First Lady of Costa Rica, she hopes to show the world that even a small nation can provide global responses and overcome the negativity and chaos surrounding the problem of climate change and what can be done to mitigate it. We need to stand up for women and the environment. In 2050 Costa Rica’s urban and rural landscape will look very different, with more beautiful cities, where the car won’t be king anymore.
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