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Nov 10, 2022

Loss & Damage Officially on the COP27 Agenda

Victory has been declared at the United Nation’s Conference of Parties, even before the twenty-seventh edition of the World Climate Change conference is completed. On Wednesday, something those small island developing countries and others were able to successfully lobby for is compensation for loss and damage arising from the adversities of climate change. Earlier this week, the Assistant Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center said that the inclusion of loss and damage was a step in the right direction. It is something that Belize, as a member of SIDS, has been agitating for and, even though it does not refer to words such as liability and compensation, it is a significant achievement for these countries that have experienced the adverse effects of climate change. Today, Minister of Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, Orlando Habet shared with News Five what it means for the country and the conversation community moving forward.

 

Orlando Habet

Orlando Habet, Minister of Climate Change & Disaster Risk Management

“We were happy to find out it has hit the agenda so it is an agenda item for COP27. However, some of the issues we want to address, especially in regards to finance, putting up a finance mechanism, there is going to be some discussion on that. We hope that a lot of it can be materialized especially in regards to the mechanism itself because it will not be finalized totally at COP27, but it can be finalized at COP28. We know that they don’t want to discuss anything that has to do with even the sound of issues brought forth like reparation and neither compensation. So we have to be able to see how we can structure it so that in the end we can still benefit from it. But Belizeans have to understand that the issue of loss and damage has two real components: one for quick onset events like a hurricane and what you do to get that type of assistance which is basically humanitarian assistance that comes. But we are looking at those more long-term damages that occur over the years because of climate change, because of those emissions from those developed countries that have caused these problems – coastal erosion, the rise in sea temperature and how it affects our communities because it affects our country’s physical infrastructure, but it also affects our people. We see how we have issues of migration in Belize because of climate change.  But also, how infrastructure is damaged. Communities that we might not be able to rebuild in that particular community, but we might have to relocate them. These are things that affect us, so we are happy that it hit the agenda, but we have to see how it goes from there.”


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