Climate-friendly coffee from Costa Rica

Project description

Title: NAMA Support Project: ‘Low-Carbon Coffee Costa Rica’
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU); UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)
Country: Costa Rica
Lead executing agency: Costa Rican Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE)
Overall term: 2015 to 2022

GIZ/Pablo Cambronero A coffee picker throws ripe coffee cherries into a basket.


Costa Rica has set itself the target of becoming completely independent of fossil fuels by 2050. The top priority in this regard is coffee cultivation: nitrogen-based fertilisers and resource-intensive processing make coffee-growing one of the largest sources of emissions in the agricultural sector. Costa Rica is one of the first countries in the world to promote climate-friendly coffee-growing with a view to developing an innovative end product.


A total of 6,000 Costa Rican coffee farmers and employees at 50 coffee mills have the knowledge and technical skills required to introduce and use climate-friendly growing and processing methods.

Photo 3: GIZ/Pablo Cambronero A coffee farmer checks the coffee plants on his plantation.


The project supports climate-friendly coffee production in Costa Rica by means of technical advice and technology transfer. Coffee farmers, for instance, are trained in new agricultural practices. At the same time, coffee mills are measuring their CO2 emissions and are taking action to reduce them.

The project also provides access to financing options that can be used to introduce resource-efficient machinery and processes. A cofinancing system is providing financial support, with subsidies amounting to USD 275,000 to date. Another financing mechanism is promoting the planting of shade trees on coffee plantations.

The project also supports efforts to tap into markets for climate-friendly coffee, for example during trips by coffee companies to Germany and the USA, where they can sell their low-emission products.

Furthermore, the project supported the development of the National Strategy for Low-Emission and Resilient Coffee Production. The strategy sets out how to raise productivity while taking into account the impacts of climate change.

The project is transferring the experience gained in climate-friendly coffee production to other sectors of agriculture and making it available to other countries.

Photo 1: GIZ/Pablo Cambronero A coffee mill owner checks the quality of the coffee beans.

Last update: July 2021