CAFTA’s ratifcation threatens Costa Rica’s environmental integrity by permitting foreign investors virtual free reign to destroy its precious waterways through environmentally unsound methods of hydroelectric power production. While CAFTA contains provisions that appear to protect the environments of the Central American signatory states, it also contains provisions similar to NAFTA’s Chapter 11, which foreign investors have used to weaken environmental laws by suing those states that have dared to enforce them. This Note explores existing environmental laws in Costa Rica governing hydroelectric power production, including its privatization. It also discusses and compares NAFTA’s Chapter 11 to CAFTA’s Chapter 10 in order to illustrate the threat to Costa Rica’s waterways through private hydroelectric power production. This Note then argues that, in order to preserve its waterways, Costa Rica must not ratify CAFTA. Alternately, it argues that if Costa Rica does ratify CAFTA, the state should consider adopting both preventative and remedial measures to weaken its blow.
R V. Lindo,
Hydroelectric Power Production in Costa Rica and the Threat of Environmental Disaster Through CAFTA,
B.C. Int'l & Comp. L. Rev.