"We are delighted by the news that Jose Maria is coming on board as President. We have a great team, and are ready to take the organization to the next level together,” Peter Boyd, COO Carbon War Room .
News Bulletin José Marĺa Figueres Joins Carbon War Room As New President. “We are delighted by the news that JosÉ MarÍa is coming on board as President. We have a great team, and are ready to take the organization to the next level together,” Peter Boyd, COO Carbon War Room
The Carbon War Room is honored to welcome José Maria Figueres, former President of Costa Rica, as the new President of the Carbon War Room, taking over from former CEO Jigar Shah, founder of SunEdison. José Maria Figueres is an internationally recognized leader in the achievement of sustainable development goals. He served as President of Costa Rica from 1994 to 1998, becoming the youngest Latin American head of state in modern times. As President he created a comprehensive national sustainable development strategy combining sound macroeconomic policies, strategic investments in human development, and a strong alliance with nature. For his pioneering work he received the first ever Global Environmental Facility Leadership Award in 1998. In 2000, President Figueres joined the World Economic Forum as a Managing Director, and later became its first CEO. More recently, José Maria has been highly active in both the commercial and civic sector, including serving as Chairman of Carbon War Room. “I am thrilled to be joining the Carbon War Room in the role of President – and help realize the vision that Sir Richard and the Board tasked it with back in 2009,” said José Maria Figueres. “My experience in Costa Rica taught me a great lesson: It may be government that sets the targets and mandates on carbon, but only entrepreneurs, business and the market can bring about these reductions. The Carbon War Room has made amazing strides in the past three years in shipping, energy efficiency and more. Having watched with pride from the board, I look forward to stepping into the executive role, and leveraging early successes to make the organization an important global force for good” This transition comes at a crucial moment in the Carbon War Room’s development – as it moves from a young, US-based non-profit, founded by Sir Richard Branson in 2009 and incubated by Virgin Unite, to an accomplished international organization with a clearly defined role to accelerate profitable, gigaton-scale, climate change solutions. José Maria begins his new role with the Carbon War Room immediately.
Costa Rica –  An Environmental Success Story. Costa Rica is the only tropical country to have reversed deforestation. It is the first country to have set a goal for achieving carbon neutrality by 2021. Costa Rica debunked the old myth that “wild” lands have no value. Instead of exploiting natural resources for economic gain, they established a national park system. During President Figueres’ term, the government assigned economic “worth” to forests, freshwater reservoirs, and scenic landscapes by using market instruments. It began paying farmers to preserve forests, plant trees, and use land responsibly. The program was funded mainly by a gasoline tax with the conviction that taxing carbon emissions should pay for environmental services. Today tropical forests cover 34% of the country. Forest fires and illegal logging have plummeted. The air is fresher, the water is cleaner, and the economy is booming. Ecotourism, the nation’s second biggest contributor to the economy, is a billion-dollar-a-year business (in a nation of only four million people).
About the Carbon War Room. The Carbon War Room is an independent non-profit that harnesses the power of entrepreneurs to unlock profitable gigaton-scale solutions to climate change. Almost all the climate change solutions we need to meet 2020 targets are technically available today. Many of these solutions are profitable right now under existing policy and technology conditions. The War Room seeks to accelerate the flow of capital to entrepreneurial solutions that make economic sense right now