Costa Rica's newly elected President Carlos Alvarado has announced a nationwide ban on fossil fuels, part of his ambitious plans to create a decarbonized society.
"Decarbonization is the great task of our generation and Costa Rica must be one of the first countries in the world to accomplish it, if not the first," said Alvarado, a former journalist and political scientist.
"We have the titanic and beautiful task of abolishing the use of fossil fuels in our economy to make way for the use of clean and renewable energies," he said in his inauguration speech Wednesday from the Plaza de la Democracy.
A crowd of some 2,000 people listened as their leader reiterated his campaign promises to reduce the fiscal deficit by 50 percent, increase white-collar crime-fighting initiatives, and efficiently distribute public finances to accomplish the country's goals.
"Today I receive this (presidential) badge with the full understanding that to have all of you and our country is the greatest honor that can be given and the greatest responsibility," Alvarado said
At 38, making him Costa Rica's youngest ever president, Alvarado is keen to lead the way in environmental initiatives as "the world's decarbonization laboratory," meeting the demands of the Paris Climate Agreement.
Through a checklist of counter-climate change strategies, the 2016 Paris Agreement aims to prevent Earth from heating up by two degrees Celsius.
Under former President Barack Obama, the United States had pledged as part of the Paris accord to cut greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 28 percent from 2005 levels by 2025 to help slow global warming. However, one year later, his successor, Donald Trump, announced the U.S.'s withdrawal from the concord.
Other countries, including China and the European Union, have reiterated their pledge to continue implementing it, while nations across the Caribbean and Latin America, such as the Bahamas and Chile, have announced bans on plastic bags and other single-use items.