Thirteen of our middle school and upper elementary students, and head of school, Leslie Hites, along with faculty members, Nathalie Hites and Emily Ahsoon, will be traveling to China this week for the Montessori Model United Nations in Zhengzhou, China.

Since last summer they have been preparing for the conference. They have been learning about the United Nations and reseraching Costa Rica and Thailand, the two countries they will be representing. One way they will be showcasing their knowledge is through position papers.

Here is a position paper on Renewable Energy written by students representing the Republic of Costa Rica. They have written a well-thought out research paper:

Committee: United Nations Environmental Programme

Topic: Renewable Energy

Country: Republic Of Costa Rica

Delegate: Lizzie Raffanti and Tyson Howard, The Renaissance International School

Fossil fuels were first introduced by a man named George Agricola in 1556 and then later by Mikhail Lomonosov in the 18th century. Although fossil fuels made people’s lives a lot easier at the time, it is now known that it destroys our Earth. Today, the main problems with using fossil fuels are that we are running out of them and that we are destroying our planet. It pollutes the air by releasing carbon into our atmosphere which destroys the ozone layer and makes the air unsafe for us to breathe. The carbon traps heat in our atmosphere. Eventually the heat will melt the polar ice caps, which will make the sea levels rise. This will flood cities near sea level. It will also make many species go extinct, by changing their habitat and changing air and water temperatures. The best alternative to fossil fuels is renewable energy, which is energy that can always be produced because it doesn’t take millions of years to make the source. Renewable energy is good for the planet because most don’t pollute. In order to save the planet, everyone should use renewable energy.

Since 1949, Costa Rica has steadily been improving its use and production of renewable energy. In April of 1949, the Costa Rican Institute of Electricity (ICE) was created by Law No. 449 to solve the power outages in the 1940s. The law let ICE create energy, mainly hydropower. The law let ICE be independent from the government, so that in the future the production of their energy would be protected from the government. ICE functions today like a monopoly because they are the main company that produces electricity. Because ICE was created as the main source of energy in Costa Rica, most of the energy produced is hydropower. These are a few of the many laws promoting renewable energy in Costa Rica:

  • 1994: Law No. 7447 was passed. Article 38 of this law says that if you purchase equipment to produce renewable energy, you will not have to pay a sales tax, select consumer tax, or the taxes described in Law No. 6946 (LA ASAMBLEA LEGISLATIVA DE LA REPUBLICA DE COSTA RICA).
  • 1995: The Environmental Law states that Costa Rica has to investigate renewable sources of energy.
  • 2000: The National Energy Plan set a goal to increase the usage of renewable energy, except for hydropower, by 15%.
  • 2003: Directive 22 in the National Development Plan encourages people to use new, renewable methods of creating energy.
  • 2007: The National Climate Change Strategy is a strategy to become carbon neutral by the year 2021 and to promote renewable energy, social development, economic growth.
  • 2008: The National Biofuels Programme is an agreement to promote the use of biofuels (ethanol), which are a form of renewable energy, in Costa Rica (Murillo).
  • 2008: The National Energy Plan is a national agreement to lower the country's energy bill and the release of carbon into the air, and depend more on renewable energy.
  • 2010: The Government proposed to eliminate all taxes on equipment and machines used for renewable energy generation (
  • 2011: Costa Rica signed a law to protect the environment against the dangers of drilling for oil by preventing oil drilling.
  • 2014: Costa Rica extended their ban on oil drilling and production from the original law (2011) so that it extends until 2021.

These policies have led to increasing renewable energy use in Costa Rica. These two projects are examples of the kind of development that are encouraged by these laws: At the Rio Azul plant, landfill gas is being used to generate energy in San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital. The Cote hydroelectric project in Guanacaste is generating 7MW of energy. Today, 95% of the electricity used in Costa Rica comes from renewable sources. However, their energy supply is unstable because it largely relies on hydroelectric power and Costa Rica has had droughts which have led to power outages. This is why finding other energy sources is important to Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a part of the United Nations Energy Plan (UNEP) and has applied to the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA). It has also ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, which both promote the use of renewable energy.

95% of Costa Rica’s energy is renewable because Costa Rica’s government invested in it. However, 80% of Costa Rica’s electricity is produced by hydropower (Mack). This is a problem because if there is not enough water, they can’t produce enough hydropower. A solution for this problem is to diversify the types of renewable energy that Costa Rica uses; Costa Rica has been doing this recently.

Costa Rica believes that other countries can and should invest in renewable energy. Countries can support this idea by creating laws that promote renewable energy. These laws can include tax incentives that help people save money when they use renewable energy sources. Countries could also invest in building facilities for creating renewable energy. They could also invest in research on new energy sources. Last but not least, countries could also set goals that encourage them to increase the usage of renewable energy sources.

Works Cited-Removed for this blog post. The complete list is available upon request.