Costa Rican President Carlos Alvarado was a featured speaker Monday at Climate Week NYC, a weeklong event in partnership with the United Nations that focuses on environmental action.
President Alvarado spoke as part of the event’s Opening Ceremony, which highlighted Costa Rica’s efforts to decarbonize its economy by 2050.
During his nine-minute presentation, President Alvarado discussed Costa Rica’s role in the fight against climate change.
“Is it possible or not to do something about the climate crisis?” he said. “I believe this is a bit the role Costa Rica has in this — to make us know that yes, it is possible.”
President Alvarado said that while Costa Rica is small, its role in the climate crisis “is not only about the environment [but] about transforming economies.”
Arguing that governments must instill confidence, President Alvarado also asked that the private sector must be part of the climate fight “with the same clarity as the young generations are providing the world now.”
“We have a problem in the narrative,” he said. “We keep talking about the science. … We start talking about this jargon that’s sometimes distant from the reality of the people. Narrative — it has to be about truth, based on science — but it needs to address the heart of the people, the inspiration of the people.”
President Alvarado closed with a story about how his son, Gabriel Alvarado Dobles, will live in a planet shaped by the actions of past and current generations.
“In 2050, when he’s going to be my age, he’s going to ask me, ‘Dad, ¿hiciste lo necesario? Did you do all in your hands to change the situation? Because you knew about it back then,'” President Alvarado said.
“I’m working to have a good answer for him in 2050. But that answer needs to start now.”
President Alvarado spoke in English, and you can watch his entire speech below: