The World Banks Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) recently granted Costa Rica $3 million to help further develop its local carbon market.  Costa Rica is a leader in moving towards carbon neutrality and the country pledges to be carbon nuetral by 2021.

Environment Minister René Castro said "the [World Bank] contribution is a tool to stimulate local actions to achieve carbon neutrality, but it is also strategic for the country’s economic competitiveness...For Costa Rica, the development of new market instruments and, in particular, the development of a domestic carbon market, is a strategic approach to support local action towards carbon neutrality by 2021,”

The Grant was announced on March 13th 2013 at the PMR in an attempt to breathe new life into the world's struggling carbon markets.

The PMR is made up of a dozen contributing participants, such as the United States, Japan, Australia, the European Commission and other European countries, and 16 implementing countries, including China, Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico; which are the first four countries to receive grant financing from the PMR in support of their carbon market readiness proposals.

There are various debates amongst the environmental community as to the viability of trading carbon credits. On the one hand it just gives polluting companies an easy way to offset their destructive environmental practices, and in theory they should just clean up their acts.  Another aspect is the carbon market can be manipulated and used as a funding source for renewable energy projects that in reality should find their funding elsewhere.  On the other hand, if the offset money is used to actually fund reforestation based carbon projects then it can be an ally for reducing our global carbon footprint, increasing oxygen output and helping our planet as a whole.