Statement delivered by H.E. Nogui Acosta Jaen, Minister of Finance, Costa Rica
V20 MINISTERIAL DIALOGUE X
16 April 2023
H.E. Nogui Acosta Jaen, Minister of Finance, Costa Rica (Delivered in Spanish; Transcription based on Live Interpretation)
For Costa Rica, this is a very important forum because we represent a middle-income country, and vulnerability is something that is cross-cutting in the world. Almost all of us face situations that were not viable just a short time ago.
Climate change has represented a situation that we, as a country, that multilateral development organizations really had no clarity in how we were going to deal with the situation. Now, Costa Rica has developed, has invested a lot in developing its human capital and we insist on climate change and how it affects infrastructure, but we haven’t looked all that much at the human impact, so we need instruments.
In the specific case of climate change and in those cases where what we have is an extreme climate event, insurance is tremendously important. And I think that that speaks well of this initiative and the need to involve many more resources in this type of activity. But human capital is at risk and the human capital at risk can only be defended with fiscal space.
Almost all countries following the pandemic, following the inflationary crisis, almost all countries are facing a situation where we have very little fiscal space. So, we need tools that will allow us to increase that fiscal space because human capital can only be acquired by sustainable investment in health and education and here climate change has an important effect.
Food security is requiring more and more investment and investing in better technology. Education has to be more and more in keeping with the developments in today’s world. And in that connection, I think that for Costa Rica it is tremendously important to have access to those resources. But equally important is that those countries that have been able to move ahead in environmental sustainability have some sort of benefit for having taken part in this effort.
Costa Rica, over many years, has been moving ahead in environmental sustainability. We have invested in reforestation. We have invested in making good use of our natural resources. Our electric grid is 99% based on renewable resources. And I think that that is absolutely essential to be able to come in and structure products that are in keeping with this sustainability and from the standpoint of the country, it’s absolutely essential that we have initiatives that clearly establish the necessary instruments to deal with specific problems. I feel that it’s absolutely essential that at this juncture multilateral organizations that provide resources think about the need of looking at sustainability, seeing it as a priority, as investment decisions are made in different countries.