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Candidates graded on environment plans

January 29, 2010

An analysis by a Costa Rican environmentalist group, CO2 Neutral 2021, scored Citizen Action Party (PAC) presidential candidate Ottón Solís higher than all of his contenders in environmental matters.

The study, which gauged candidates´ environmental platforms, awarded Solís 70 percent of the available points. Solís earned high marks in urban transportation, land use, biodiversity and reforestation, some of the one dozen categories that the study measured.

The National Liberation Party (PLN) race front-runner, Laura Chinchilla, came in third with her environmental promises – behind the Broad Front Party – garnering 44 percent. She earned the most points in her proposals for industry control and waste water treatment.

Otto Guevara, of the Libertarian Movement Party, followed Chinchilla with 40 percent. He received high scores for his pledges for available, clean water.

The study´s 12 categories were weighted and broken into 25 indicators, similar to Yale and Columbia University´s Environmental Performance Index (EPI), which was released last week. The index ranked Costa Rica third out of 163 nations. The analysis gave the greatest weight to categories related to climate change, such as the energy and agriculture sectors. All together, the five categories that the study determined to be related to climate change accounted for 50 percent of the available points.

The analysis concluded that none of the candidates´ platforms contain specific political actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the livestock, refrigeration and cement sectors, which account for 26 percent of Costa Rica´s total annual emissions, according to the group.

Luis Fishman, of the Social Christian Unity Party, finished with 31 percent. The National Renovation Party and the Access Without Exclusion Party came in last with 8 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

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