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Nov 3, 2021

Climate Finance Takes Center Stage at COP26

Mitigating and adapting to climate change is expensive and small island developing states like Belize are among those countries severely affected even though their GHG emissions are miniscule. So, as contained in the Paris Agreement formed back in 2015, developed countries, pumping large volumes of greenhouse gases in the environment committed to provide a one hundred billion dollar fund for which countries would be able to access finances for climate change. Today, climate financing was the theme of most meetings held at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow Scotland where COP26 is taking place. News Five’s Duane Moody is there providing coverage on this event and has this report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Climate finance took center stage at COP26 today, as political leaders and experts from across the globe expressed their concerns and need to access funds for climate change mitigation and adaptation.


Christopher Coye, Minister of State, Finance

“COP26 is in many ways about climate finance on a whole – the commitments that have been made from the inception of the Paris Agreement, the hundred billion dollar goal per annum. Those pledges have not been met. They were to have been met by 2020; they have not been met. In the interim, things have gotten worse and those that are most vulnerable have suffered the most and those that are the most vulnerable are the SIDS. Belize is one of the SIDS countries and it is evident to all of us in Belize the impact of climate change.”


Belize’s Minister of State Christopher Coye was joined by his C.E.O. Doctor Osmond Martinez as well as UN Ambassador and Climate Change expert Carlos Fuller and Attorney General Magali Marin as meetings were held with several organizations, including CABEI, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration and the Green Climate Fund.


Christopher Coye

“Ultimately, the goal is to secure financing for Belize, preferably on grant funding or concessionary-based financing and we have to look at how we approach that. What are those areas that we are most affected by because in the climate finance world, they look at it in two parts – one mitigation, one adaptation. Mitigation is debt financing but perhaps at lower rates, whereas adaptation financing involves grant funding.”


All sectors have been experiencing the impacts of climate change.  So what does that mean for Belizeans back at home? Well, for farmers who have been affected by the changes in what used to be cyclical weather patterns, funding is needed to introduce climate resilient varieties and the like. For those living along coastline communities that are being washed away, relocation is not without costs. And even the tourism industry – land and sea – there must be investments made in order for the country to survive the adverse effects of climate change that as a country, we continue to face.


Christopher Coye

“We have a right to be here. We are among those that are most vulnerable. Belize is the eighth in the world in terms of exposure to climate risk so we have a right to be angry when the pledges are not fulfilled. So we need to make our voices heard.”


Duane Moody

“We are just outside the pavilion for the European Union where side events are taking place. An invited guest is the Minister of Blue Economy, Andre Perez. He and his CEO along with Blue Economy Director Beverly Wade are making presentations to the European Union who are interested in the work of the blue economy. As we found out, Belize is being described as the blue golden child.”


Andre Perez

Andre Perez, Minister of Blue Economy

“It is all about our oceans, it is all about our reef, it’s all about our coast, it’s all about our sea grass. So how do we move ahead by telling the world that we are doing our part, our small nation, small developing island states that we are, that in the region we are the trendsetter, we are leading. But by ourselves, we cannot do it at all, so we need to make a cry out to the nation that we need to be more proactive, everybody must be collaborative and that a tiny nation like Belize can lead by example, the world indeed is watching.”


Kennedy Carillo, C.E.O., Ministry of Blue Economy

“The blue economy as the new and innovative ministry actually provides an opportunity for us to build on the excellent works of the fisheries department, our coastal zone management authority and institute whereby we see that through these conservation commitments we are able to heighten the work that has been taking place. Taking the opportunity to participate in these side events. What happens in the hallways. Meeting donors, meeting partners from whom we can learn and also with whom we can share. I will tell you that really Belize is the blue golden child at COP26. The blue golden child at COP26. I think we need to realise that everybody wants to hear what’s happening in Belize and now with the blue bonds, it’s even more.”


Attorney General Magali Marin-Young says that aside from discussions around article six of the Paris agreement, they are looking at how Belize can tap into the opportunity of carbon credits.


Magali Marin-Young

Magali Marin-Young, Attorney General

“The Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance – all of us are trying to get atop of all of the issues and we have to make some critical decisions in terms of developing our domestic legal framework around article six, carbon trading. So as a young government, we have a full force out here to see how we could maximize all our conservation efforts and to have them pay financial dividends for the citizenry.”


With an increasing number of meetings being added to their schedules in the days ahead, there is no doubt that Belize’s voice and that of its people are getting the attention to effect change.  Reporting from COP26 in Glasgow Scotland, 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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