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Feb 12, 2016

High Level Discussions on Climate Change Continue

Climate change experts from around the Caribbean region continued a two-day conference in Belize City today. At the heart of the discussions was the COP 21 Agreement reached in Paris in 2015 signed by one hundred and ninety-five countries. The agreement sets out a global action plan to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below two degrees centigrade.  News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Today at the Biltmore Plaza in Belize City, day two of the discussion between climate change experts from across the Caribbean took place. The purpose is to address how member CARICOM states will ease the effects of climate change in their respective countries. And after ratifying the COP 21 Agreement reached in Paris last year, Heads of State for CARICOM who will converge on Placencia next week, will be discussing a plan of action.

 

Omar Figueroa

Omar Figueroa, Minister for Climate Change

“Right now we have our technical team that have been really going into these agreements and making sure that we can live up to our responsibilities. But we can’t look at these agreements as a challenge for us. There will be tremendous amount of opportunities embedded in these challenges.  For example, we have we now have in the Paris Agreement, parity between adaptation and mitigation which puts us in a position to be able to benefit from the agreement.”

 

For the strategy to be implemented effectively there is of course the need for financial resources. Now, climate change is as a result of an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, primarily generated by mega industrialized countries and at the world climate change conference in Paris, these countries pledged to assist with mitigation of the natural phenomenon.

 

James Fletcher

Dr. James Fletcher, Chair, Regional Coordinating Committee on Climate Change

“The pledge is that by the year 2020, we should have access to one hundred billion U.S. dollars in finances and that amount should be one hundred billion dollars every year thereafter. In the COP decision, there has even been a pledge to review that with the intention of scaling it up. We’ve said that one hundred billion dollars is the absolute minimum; is the floor. Maybe the Caribbean needs alone will take that one hundred billion dollars…we’ll use it up. Then you have Pacific countries that would disappear entirely.”

 

But according to Doctor James Fletcher, while the emission of greenhouse gases from the Caribbean are insignificant globally; all countries have agreed to reduce the levels.

 

Dr. James Fletcher

“What these developed countries have to do is to drastically reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. They have made a commitment to do that for the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, which every country was to submit to the Secretariat of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that basically said, among other things how they will reduce all their emissions of greenhouse gases.”

 

Climate change has had adverse effects in Belize—in the agriculture sector, with erosion along the coastline and even coral bleaching. So what is government doing to address this?

 

Omar Figueroa

“Each country has a responsibility to develop a list of nationally determined contributions so to speak. So we are in the process of also putting a lot of those together. Some have been submitted to the convention folks, but we are in the process of doing that. Part of our sustainable development strategies, our agricultural policies all take into consideration our climate change responsibilities. So there is a lot that has been going on.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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