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Feb 20, 2019

GHG Emission Workshop Aims to Create National Mitigation Plan

Today the National Climate Change Office held a workshop in Belmopan to look at Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Assessment with their stakeholders. The objective is to help the country conduct a national assessment of the impact of different technologies and practices that affect gas emissions. Stakeholder partners included representatives from the energy, forestry, transport, agriculture and waste sectors. The aim is to develop a national plan for Belize to reduce some of the greenhouse gas. Reporter Andrea Polanco tells us more about this initiative in the context of its impact on climate change.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

We’ve increased the burning of fossil fuels to produce energy for domestic and industrial purposes. But this has led to the release of high levels of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. And because these gases trap too much heat it is making the earth warmer – what we know today as global warming. The increase in temperature on land and sea has given rise to climate change which has been called the greatest challenge of our time. But emissions continue to rise, scientists say that temperatures are now one degree warmer than they were one hundred and fifty years ago. And if these emissions are not cut – the world will not be able to meet the two degree target by the year 2100. Small island states, including Belize, would like to see temperatures down to one point five. And so Belize, like the rest of world, has committed to reducing its greenhouse gases by fifty-percent by the year twenty-thirty if they’d like to meet that target. So, right now Belize is working on its greenhouse inventory to find out exactly which industries or sectors are producing these gases.

 

Juan Martin

Juan Martin, Consultant

“We are now doing the GHG emissions inventory. Belize has an inventory of all the gases which are being emitted in the country by sectors. We have CO2, CH4; we have different emissions, different gases and in different sectors. In the energy sector, in the industry, residential, agriculture, waste and different sectors for which we have an inventory of these emissions.”

 

And it is important that we reduce our emissions by the deadline because if we don’t that means bad business for small countries like Belize. Researchers say that there will be massive die off of coral reefs; extended drought and other extreme weather events such as storms and rising sea levels are just a few of the consequences of failure to cut our green house gases.  And so to work towards reducing these gases and keeping stock, stakeholders who represent a wide cross section of GHG emitting sectors are attending a workshop to share information on how to address some of the impacts that will help with the development of a national plan.

 

Juan Martin

“This will feed the national mitigation strategy for the country. The strategy will be kind of a road map for the future which we will translate the main priority areas in mitigation in one national document.”

 

On a global scale, Belize’s emissions are very small. A 2016 study showed that land use and change – including deforestation and land degradation have produced the most greenhouse gases.  The energy sector and the transportation are also top producing GHGs. While this workshop will help to create policies and strategies that the country can use to reduce these gases –Martin explains each of us can take actions to help this effort.

 

Juan Martin

“There are estimations in the forestry sector and that forestry sector can be a sink instead of an emission source. The forestry sector can catch the CO2 in the atmosphere. So, it is very important for the country to take care of the reforestation and to manage conservation of our forests because they are important for GHG emissions. There are many things we can do to reduce GHG emissions, depending on the sector. In the energy sector, we can do energy efficiency practices. We can try to not expend a lot of energy in our houses and also in the industries we can plan to reduce our energy use to be more efficient. Also our devices can be also more efficient so the national government can implement standards for being more efficient when it comes to these devices.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.


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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