Lawmakers approved on first reading Monday the Paris climate change agreement. Costa Rican officials were anxious to be among the first nations to approve the agreement, which was introduced to the legislature only last week. The vote was 41 to 1.
The agreement grew out of the climate change conference in Paris last year. Christiana Figueres of Costa Rica spearheaded the approval of the agreement. She was executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Under the non-binding agreement countries are supposed to establish individual plans to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide with the goal of keeping the average world temperature below at least an increase of 2 degrees C with a goal of 1.5 degrees. Costa Rica has been a leader in this area and plans to be carbon neutral by 2021.