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Nov 11, 2022

Carbon Credits Negotiation at COP27

Article six of the Paris Agreement has been a sticking point in negotiations at the United Nation’s Conference of the Parties, specifically because it addresses climate financing.  There are several areas being negotiated simultaneously by technical experts in climate change, to ensure that there is consensus on its mitigation and the way forward, as well as the exact positions finalized ahead of next week’s meeting of political leaders.  But today, carbon credits took center stage. While all aspects of the carbon market, the mechanisms for assessment and value are being ironed out, how prepared is Belize and even the Caribbean region for this? News Five’s reporter Duane Moody and cameraman Kenroy Michael have been on the ground in Egypt since Thursday and file this report.


Duane Moody

Duane Moody

“It’s day two of our on-the-ground coverage of COP27 here in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt where everything climate change is being discussed. Today, the underlying theme is carbon credits – from the registering of these credits for countries to its sale and everything in between.”


Dr. Lennox Gladden

Dr. Lennox Gladden, Chief Climate Change Officer, N.C.C.O.

“Carbon credits, the sale of carbon credits, the estimation of the various countries, their carbon potential. That’s the undercurrent at this point. While yes, they are negotiating to see what the market is going to look like, the difference between sovereign credits – meaning compliance – tapping into the compliance market and the voluntary market. The discussion with some of the donors, some of the stakeholders, some of the various institutions, is okay so you have carbon credits, what’s your potential as a country? How can we assist you in either putting mechanism in place or actual purchase your carbon credit?”


Dr. Colin Young, Executive Director, CCCCC

Dr. Colin Young

“Governments and ministers of finance want to know how can we get additional climate finance from monetizing our blue carbon and our carbon assets like seagrasses, mangroves and forests, to cause more monies to flow into he region for them to then invest that money into climate resilient development.”


So where is Belize in this process? Chief Climate Change Officer, Doctor Lennox Gladden says that as a country, we have been readying ourselves for this type of climate finance.  Over sixty percent of Belize is still under forest cover and the successful implementation of the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation program, better known as the REDD+, coupled with a recent study done on the mangrove forest and its potential to sequester huge amounts of earth-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, there is a good estimation of Belize’s carbon stock.


Dr. Lennox Gladden

“We have some pre-2020 credits that we already know how much that potential is. We also recently concluded and it’s the first of its kind in the region that looks at mangrove carbon. So, we did a national assessment that looked at mangrove carbon through the assistance of Pew, Nadia Bood back in Belize, she was very instrumental in that process; we had fourteen institutions, so it was a robust collaboration and work getting done on the ground. So, through that assessment, from mangrove carbon, it was between twenty-two and twenty-five teragrams of mangrove carbon so that is quite significant, but it is there. So, it is now about interpreting that to results-based payment.”


…and so, within the negotiations, the mechanism for registering carbon stocks across countries and getting the best price for value are being discussed.


Dr. Lennox Gladden

“There is a prerequisite for that whereby we have to submit certain documents to the UNFCCC, we have to have our social environmental safeguards in place, the national forest monitoring system that needs updated forest reference emissions level. But that is more on the documentation side. For us to enter the carbon market, we have to have that national registry or a registry per say because at the end of the day it needs to be accounted in some form or fashion to what is going on here under the UNFCCC process. There is a compliance and a voluntary market.  The state actors need to know what that is going to look like if we’re going to sell on the voluntary, if we’re going to sell on the compliance and how we tabulate at the end of the day. We’re not selling just to sell sake; we are selling to help to enhance all these activities with local and indigenous communities. So the branding for Belize is really up there and it helps to increase the price that you can get if we choose to venture into the carbon market.”


It is about Belize getting the best bang for your buck for having actively conserved and preserved our forests when entering the carbon market.  So, does it get a better value if it’s addressed from a regional perspective?


Dr. Colin Young

“We want to develop a regional policy and legislative framework that will guide CARICOM’s participation in the market so that when the governments engage, threy go in with their two eyes open to get the best deal and that they don’t just jump on the first opportunity that come that may turn out to be a bad deal. We have to understand what the carbon stocks of all our countries are. How much carbon does Belize have? How much carbon does Barbados have? Suriname, Guyana Jamaica? Because once we know what we have and we treat this as a regional project, we are in a better position to negotiate the best deals.”


Requests have been made for sit-downs with Belize for the purchase of carbon credits, but Doctor Gladden says that those negotiations will be up to the government to accept a price. And that is where it stands with the carbon market for Belize currently.


Duane Moody

“Reporting from COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, 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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