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Nov 17, 2021

COP26 Wrap Up: Belize Secures Seats at the Decision-Making Level

After two weeks of negotiations at three different levels at the COP26, the Glasgow Package was released. It chronicled the agreements as well as pledges of over a hundred countries who participated in the United Nations conference on climate change, a global response to its effects and mitigation. An incremental advancement is how it is being described and tonight, News Five’s Duane Moody, who was posted at the conference, has a wrap up with Climate Change Minister Orlando Habet. Here’s that report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Was COP26 a success? That the question on the minds of all Belizeans following the representation by government officials and negotiators at the climate change forum held in Glasgow Scotland over the past two weeks. Following the release of the Glasgow Package, commitments did fall short to achieving the one point five degrees as was established in the Paris Agreement. But there were some advancements in four areas.


Orlando Habet

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

“The achievement of the goal for one point five degrees centigrade. Of course the commitments that were made prior to that coming into COP apparently fell short because some of the countries didn’t live up to the commitments and all indications are that if nothing is done seriously, we will not achieve that. So, however, they managed to get countries to recommit once again. Secondly, on the area of financing, which was the other key area that they looked at, of course, looking at where we were at the point of the one hundred billion-dollar goal, up to the end of COP26, they didn’t achieve that one hundred billion commitment. The claim is that they came close, but that countries still committed and as COP went on, various countries were doing their own pledges for more funding.”


Loss and damage/adaptation was among one of the key focus of the Belize delegation because the fact is that the global temperature has increased by one point one degrees already. Small island states, like Belize, are already experiencing the effects – land erosion, more intense hurricanes, extended droughts and, in the case of Belize, there is a threat to the barrier reef.


Orlando Habet

“Some advancement was made; no commitment in terms of numbers or real percentages, but the larger countries, the larger emitters clearly stated that they understood the need for more funding going towards adaptation. So those will also be discussed. But especially the issue of loss and damage which we pushed a lot, especially in the developing countries, AOSIS, the small island states. So there is recognition and we hope that with further discussions early next year, we will be able to see more positives in that area also.”


Notably, Belize made its mark at COP26. As a country, we were successful in getting a seat on the Adaptation Committee and the Board of the Adaptation Fund which allows for the country to have a voice at the decision-making level.  The country’s work in forest conservation has also placed Belize in an ideal position to access markets for carbon credits, which is contained in article six of the Paris Agreement that allows access to finance.


Orlando Habet

“We have now completed that process and we know what is available out there. Now we have to look at those possible markets, how we can market it and how we can get the best possible value for what we have and then go through the process. It is very important because also from that process, we also gained some real good capacity through our technical staff who are now prepared not only to continue that process, which is another thing that we have to talk about in Belize – that the process doesn’t end here; it continues. And so while the REDD+ program might have ended, we have to transition into something maybe more permanent for our staff so that we can continue with the program. But certainly it is an opportunity for us similar to what we just did with the blue bonds with the ocean side; we can also do in the forest side.”


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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