December 7th, 2012 (InsideCostaRica.com) Costa Rica is the first country in the world to receive an approval from the World Bank for a Carbon Fund, which will allow the country to have access to $63 million for the Payment Program for Environmental Services (PSA, in Spanish), which will come from the sale of 12 million tons of carbon capture by the country’s forests, a process known as carbon offset.
According to the Climate Change Council, the funds will provide the possibility of adding 340,000 hectares of protected forests, reforestation, regeneration and agri-forest systems with the capacity of capturing close to 30 million tons of carbon.
The Carbon Fund will purchase 40% of the total capturing capacity of the country, while the remaining 60% is available for sale in the national and international market.
Costa Rica has invested at least $300 million and submitted close to 900,000 hectares to the PSA program, which represents 17% of the national territory.
Individuals, companies, or governments purchase carbon offsets to mitigate their own greenhouse gas emissions from transportation, electricity use, and other sources.
Offsets may be cheaper or more convenient alternatives to reducing one’s own fossil-fuel consumption. However, some critics object to carbon offsets, and question the benefits of certain types of offsets.