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Jul 29, 2021

Road to COP26: Belize in London

World leaders are preparing to meet in Glasgow, Scotland later this year, in October and November, as the discussion on climate change mitigation and adaptation continues. The annual Conference of Parties is a worldwide effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the warming up of the earth, while providing support to small developing island states that have been adversely affected by the widespread effects of the changing climate. Road to COP26 begins with the Ministerial Meeting that was held in London between July twenty-fourth and twenty-sixth. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Orlando Habet led the delegation to the July Ministerial Meeting in London; he was accompanied by C.E.O. Doctor Kenrick Williams and Ambassador Carlos Fuller, who is Belize’s chief negotiator for climate change. The meeting is one of several that will take place leading up to the Conference of Parties Twenty-Six, also referred to as COP26.


Orlando Habet

Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

“Fundamentally, it was to see where we are now just to see where we are now just before the COP in terms of our commitments and what we have to do collaboratively amongst all the countries to achieve objectives of not only COP26, but in regards to climate change – where we are 2030 – 2050. Some of the salient points that were discussed were the issues of keeping one point five degrees alive, which was something that was brought out by the Paris Agreement basically requested by the small developing states. So now we are getting more countries trying to join this, but certainly we are not there yet.”


During the three-day session, Belize as a country and a member of the Alliance of Small Island States, AOSIS, called for larger industrialised countries to commit to reducing GHG emissions by fifty percent as their nationally determined contributions. Of note is that Belize’s emission is less than point five percent and the country is referred to as a carbon sink and lowers the concentration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Belize is one of only four CARICOM member states that was invited to the ministerial meeting.


Kenrick Williams

Dr. Kenrick Williams, C.E.O., Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management

“All the discussions we were having over the last couple days is to say that the position of Belize is led by science. And to analyse, we did our vulnerability and adaptation assessments to look at the various sectors – agriculture, tourism, water – and see where the vulnerabilities lie so that we can develop the policies. We discussed the recent experience with Eta and Iota and why is it that a country like Belize, a Small Island Development State, remains vulnerable. And that is why for example finance for adaptation is very critical.”


While a stockade is planned for 2023, there is a gap in reducing the world temperature by that agreed to one point five degrees by that time. But to further assist with Small Island Developing States like Belize with adaptation and mitigation projects, there is need for increased accessible and unimpeded finance for climate change.


Orlando Habet

“Financing not only to reach the goal of the one hundred billion which was previously discussed, reaching up to 2025, but there was discussion also as to what do you do beyond 2025 and whether or not the finances that were approved were looked at from the standpoint of only emission deductions or now looking also at adaptation because what the countries are saying is that the monies won’t be sufficient for adaptation also.”


Dr. Kenrick Williams

“One of the key positions of Belize is that only twenty-one percent of the pledged one billion dollars has been committed. And of that twenty-one percent how much can a country like Belize really access? So we are saying that a country like Belize is more susceptible to climate change and therefore we should have quality and accessible financing. And so on the ground, we are balancing these two things, the information/data to drive policy, but at the end of the day we are susceptible to these exogenous forces and so we have to get out there and make Belize position so that we get the right money to invest in adaptation.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

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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