コスタリカが実現する化石燃料ゼロ社会への挑戦と未来

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How do we build a society without fossil fuels? Using her native Costa Rica as an example of positive action on environmental protection and renewables, climate advocate Monica Araya outlines a bold vision for a world committed to clean energy in all sectors.

化石燃料なしの社会をどのように構築すればよいのでしょうか?

気候活動家のモニカ・アラヤは、自国のコスタリカを環境保護と再生可能エネルギーに関する積極的な行動の例として挙げながら、すべての部門でクリーンエネルギーにコミットした世界に向けた大胆なビジョンを概説しています。

タイトル A small country with big ideas to get rid of fossil fuels
化石燃料を廃止するための大きなアイデアを持つ小さな国
スピーカー モニカ・アラヤ
アップロード 2016/09/07
スポンサーリンク

「化石燃料を廃止するための大きなアイデアを持つ小さな国(A small country with big ideas to get rid of fossil fuels)」の文字起こし

How do we build a society without fossil fuels? This is a very complex challenge, and I believe developing countries could take the lead in this transition. And I’m aware that this is a contentious statement, but the reality is that so much is at stake in our countries if we let fossil fuels stay at the center of our development. We can do it differently. And it’s time, it really is time, to debunk the myth that a country has to choose between development on the one hand and environmental protection, renewables, quality of life, on the other.

I come from Costa Rica, a developing country. We are nearly five million people, and we live right in the middle of the Americas, so it’s very easy to remember where we live. Nearly 100 percent of our electricity comes from renewable sources, five of them: hydropower, geothermal, wind, solar, biomass. Did you know that last year, for 299 days, we did not use any fossil fuels in order to generate all our electricity? It’s a fantastic achievement, and yet, it hides a paradox, which is that nearly 70 percent of all our energy consumption is oil. Why? Because of our transportation system, which is totally dependent on fossil fuels, like it is in most countries. So if we think of the energy transition as a marathon, the question is, how do we get to the finish line, how do we decarbonize the rest of the economy? And it’s fair to say that if we don’t succeed, it’s difficult to see who will.

So that is why I want to talk to you about Costa Rica, because I believe we are a great candidate in pioneering a vision for development without fossil fuels. If you know one thing about our country, it’s that we don’t have an army. So I’m going to take you back to 1948. That year, the country was coming out of civil war. Thousands of Costa Ricans had died, and families were bitterly split. And yet, a surprising idea won the hearts and minds: we would reboot the country, and that Second Republic would have no army. So we abolished it. And the president at the time, Jose Figueres, found a powerful way by smashing the walls of an army base. The following year, 1949, we made that decision permanent in the new constitution, and that is why I can tell you that story nearly 70 years later. And I’m grateful. I’m grateful they made that decision before I was born, because it allowed me and millions of others to live in a very stable country. And you might be thinking that it was good luck, but it wasn’t. There was a pattern of deliberate choices.

In the ’40s, Costa Ricans were given free education and free health care. We called that social guarantees. By abolishing the army, we were able to turn military spending into social spending, and that was a driver of stability. In the ’50s —

In the ’50s, we started investing in hydropower, and that kept us away from the trap of using fossil fuels for electricity generation, which is what the world is struggling with today. In the ’70s we invested in national parks, and that kept us away from the deeply flawed logic of growth, growth, growth at any cost that you see others embracing, especially in the developing world. In the ’90s, we pioneered payments for ecosystem services, and that helped us reverse deforestation and boosted ecotourism, which today is a key engine of growth. So investing in environmental protection did not hurt our economy. Quite the opposite. And it doesn’t mean we are perfect, and it doesn’t mean we don’t have contradictions. That’s not the point. The point is that, by making our own choices, we were able to develop resilience in dealing with development problems.

Also, if you take a country like ours, the GDP per capita is around 11,000 dollars, depending on how you measure it. But according to the Social Progress Index, we are an absolute outlier when it comes to turning GDP into social progress. Abolishing the army, investing in nature and people, did something very powerful, too. It shaped the narrative, the narrative of a small country with big ideas, and it was very empowering to grow up with that narrative.

So the question is, what is the next big idea for this generation? And I believe what comes next is for this generation to let go of fossil fuels for good, just as we did with the army. Fossil fuels create climate change. We know that, and we know how vulnerable we are to the impacts of climate change. So as a developing country, it is in our best interest to build development without fossil fuels that harm people in the first place. Because why would we continue importing oil for transportation if we can use electricity instead? Remember, this is the country where electricity comes from water in our rivers, heat from volcanoes, wind turbines, solar panels, biowaste.

Abolishing fossil fuels means disrupting our transportation system so that we can power our cars, buses and trains with electricity instead of dirty energy. And transportation, let me tell you, has become an existential issue for us Costa Ricans, because the model we have is not working for us. It’s hurting people, it’s hurting companies, and it’s hurting our health. Because when policies and infrastructure fail, this is what happens on a daily basis. Two hours in the morning, two hours in the evening. I don’t understand why we have to accept this as normal. It’s offensive to have to waste our time like this every single day. And this highway is actually quite good compared to what you see in other countries where traffic is exploding. You know, Costa Ricans call this “presa.” Presa means “imprisoned.” And people are turning violent in a country that is otherwise happy in pura vida. It’s happening. So a lot is at stake.

The good news is that when we talk about clean transportation and different mobility, we’re not talking about some distant utopia out there. We’re talking about electric mobility that is happening today. By 2022, electric cars and conventional cars are expected to cost the same, and cities are already trying electric buses. And these really cool creatures are saving money, and they reduce pollution. So if we want to get rid of oil-based transportation, we can, because we have options now that we didn’t have before. It’s really exciting.

But of course, some get very uncomfortable with this idea, and they will come and they will tell you that the world is stuck with oil, and so is Costa Rica, so get real. That’s what they tell you. And you know what the answer to that argument is? That in 1948, we didn’t say the world is stuck with armies, so let’s keep our army, too. No, we made a very brave choice, and that choice made the whole difference. So it’s time for this generation to be brave again and abolish fossil fuels for good. And I’ll give you three reasons why we have to do this.

First, our model of transportation and urbanization is broken, so this is the best moment to redefine our urban and mobility future. We don’t want cities that are built for cars. We want cities for people where we can walk and we can use bikes. And we want public transportation, lots of it, public transportation that is clean and dignifying. Because if we continue adding fleets of conventional cars, our cities will become unbearable.

Second, we have to change, but incremental change is not going to be sufficient. We need transformational change. And there are some incremental projects in my country, and I am the first one to celebrate them. But let’s not kid ourselves. We’re not talking about ending up with really beautiful electric cars here and a few electric buses there while we keep investing in the same kind of infrastructure, more cars, more roads, more oil. We’re talking about breaking free from oil, and you cannot get there through incrementalism.

Third, and you know this one, the world is hungry for inspiration. It craves stories of success in dealing with complex issues, especially in developing countries. So I believe Costa Rica can be an inspiration to others, as we did last year when we disclosed that for so many days we were not using any fossil fuels in order to generate all our electricity. The news went viral around the world. Also, and this makes me extremely proud, a Costa Rican woman, Christiana Figueres, played a decisive role in the negotiations of the Paris climate agreement. So we have to protect that legacy and be an example.

So what comes next? The people. How do we get people to own this? How do we get people to believe that it’s possible to build a society without fossil fuels? A lot of work from the ground up is needed. That is why, in 2014, we created Costa Rica Limpia. “Limpia” means “clean,” because we want to empower and we want to inspire citizens.

If citizens don’t get engaged, clean transportation decisions will be bogged down by endless, and I mean endless, technical discussions, and by avalanches of lobbying by various established interests. Wanting to be a green country powered by renewables is already part of our story. We should not let anybody take that away from us.

Last year, we brought people from our seven provinces to talk about climate change in terms that matter to them, and we also brought this year another group of Costa Ricans to talk about renewable energy. And you know what? These people disagree on almost everything except on renewable energy and clean transportation and clean air. It brings people together. And the key to real participation is to help people not to feel small. People feel powerless, and they are tired of not being heard. So what we do is concrete things, and we translate technical issues into citizen language to show that citizens have a role to play and can play it together.

For the first time, we’re tracking the promises that were made on clean transportation, and politicos know that they have to deliver it, but the tipping point will come when we form coalitions — citizens, companies, champions of public transportation — that will make electric mobility the new normal, especially in a developing country. By the time the next election comes, I believe every candidate will have to disclose where they stand on the abolition of fossil fuels. Because this question has to enter our mainstream politics.

And I’m telling you, this is not a question of climate policy or environmental agenda. It’s about the country that we want and the cities that we have and the cities that we want and who makes that choice. Because at the end of the day, what we have to show is that development with renewable energy is good for the people, for Costa Ricans that are alive today and especially for those who haven’t been born.

This is our National Museum today. It’s bright and peaceful, and when you stand up in front of it, it’s really hard to believe these were military barracks at the end of the ’40s. We started a new life without an army in this place, and here is where our abolition of fossil fuels will be announced one day. And we will make history again. Thank you.

「化石燃料を廃止するための大きなアイデアを持つ小さな国(A small country with big ideas to get rid of fossil fuels)」の和訳

どうやって化石燃料を使わない社会を築くのでしょうか?これは非常に複雑な課題ですが、発展途上国がこの転換のリーダーシップを取ることができると私は信じています。この意見が議論を呼ぶことは承知していますが、もし化石燃料が開発の中心に留まるなら、私たちの国にとって多くのリスクが伴います。私たちは違った方法を取ることができるのです。発展と環境保護、再生可能エネルギー、生活の質を両立させることは可能なのです。

私はコスタリカ出身です。私たちの国は約500万人で、アメリカ大陸の中央に位置しています。私たちの電力のほぼ100%は再生可能エネルギー源から供給されています。水力発電、地熱、風力、太陽光、バイオマスの5つです。昨年、299日間、私たちは化石燃料を一切使わずに電力を供給しました。これは素晴らしい成果ですが、一方で矛盾も隠されています。私たちのエネルギー消費の約70%は石油に依存しています。なぜなら、私たちの交通システムが完全に化石燃料に依存しているからです。エネルギー転換をマラソンに例えるなら、経済全体を脱炭素化するにはどうすればよいのでしょうか?もし私たちが成功しなければ、誰が成功するのか見えません。

だからこそ、私はコスタリカについてお話ししたいのです。私たちは化石燃料を使わない開発のビジョンを先駆けて示す候補として最適です。私たちの国について知っていることが一つあるとすれば、それは私たちには軍隊がないということです。1948年に遡ります。当時、国は内戦から立ち直ろうとしていました。数千人のコスタリカ人が亡くなり、家族は激しく対立していました。しかし、驚くべきアイデアが心を捉えました。それは、国を再起動し、新たな共和国には軍隊を持たないというものでした。私たちは軍隊を廃止しました。

その翌年、1949年、新憲法によりその決定を恒久化しました。だから私は70年近く経った今、その話を伝えることができるのです。そして私は感謝しています。その決定が私の生まれる前に下されたことに感謝しています。それが私や他の多くの人々に安定した国での生活を許してくれたからです。

そして、次の大きなアイデアは何かと問われたら、私はこの世代が化石燃料を完全に放棄することだと思います。気候変動を引き起こす化石燃料を使わない開発を築くことが、私たちの国益になるのです。私たちの電力が川の水、火山の熱、風力タービン、太陽光パネル、バイオ廃棄物から来ている国では、なぜ輸入石油を使い続けるのでしょうか?

化石燃料を廃止することは、交通システムを変革し、車、バス、電車を汚れたエネルギーではなく電力で動かすことを意味します。交通問題は私たちコスタリカ人にとって存在の問題となっています。現在のモデルは機能していません。人々に害を及ぼし、企業に害を及ぼし、私たちの健康にも害を及ぼしています。毎日2時間の通勤時間が普通であることを受け入れなければならないのは侮辱的です。私たちはもっと良い方法があります。

電気自動車や電気バスが普及している今、石油ベースの交通手段を排除することは可能です。しかし、このアイデアに不快感を覚える人もいるでしょう。彼らは、世界は石油に依存しており、コスタリカも同様だと言います。しかし、1948年に私たちは世界が軍隊に依存していると言わず、勇気を持って軍隊を廃止する決断をしました。この世代も再び勇気を持って化石燃料を廃止する時です。

私たちの交通と都市化のモデルは壊れているので、これを再定義する最良の時期です。私たちは車のための都市ではなく、人々のための都市を望んでいます。公共交通機関を望んでおり、それが清潔で尊厳を持って運営されることを望んでいます。変革には段階的な変化ではなく、大規模な変革が必要です。

そして、世界はインスピレーションを求めています。特に発展途上国での成功事例を求めています。昨年、私たちが多くの日数にわたって化石燃料を使わずに電力を供給したというニュースは世界中で話題になりました。コスタリカの女性、クリスティアナ・フィゲレスはパリ協定の交渉で決定的な役割を果たしました。

これからどうするか?市民を巻き込むことが重要です。市民が関与しなければ、クリーンな交通の決定は終わりのない技術的議論や既得権益の圧力に押しつぶされてしまいます。市民が小さく感じないようにすることが鍵です。市民が役割を果たせることを示す具体的な行動を取ります。

次の選挙までに、すべての候補者は化石燃料廃止に関する立場を明らかにする必要があるでしょう。これは気候政策や環境問題だけでなく、私たちが望む国や都市、そして誰がその選択をするかに関わる問題です。

発展途上国で再生可能エネルギーを使った開発が人々にとって良いものであることを示さなければなりません。現在生きているコスタリカ人、特にまだ生まれていない人々のために。

これが私たちの国立博物館です。ここで私たちは再び歴史を作るのです。ありがとうございました。

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