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Dec 6, 2023

Turning Promises into Pledges at COP28

The Belize delegation at COP28 in Dubai faces challenges due to its small size, hindering their ability to participate in various meetings simultaneously. Belize, part of AOSIS and CARICOM, relies on these alliances for negotiations. As COP28 unfolds, Belize awaits tangible progress and the transformation of promises into actionable outcomes. The country’s focus remains on securing adequate financing for adaptation and pushing for serious global efforts to address climate change. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo continues his COP28 coverage with the following story:


Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

The Belize delegation at COP28 in Dubai is not as big as other local media houses reported.


Orlando Habet

Orlando Habet, Minister of Sustainable Development and Climate Change

“The team is rather small. We were discussing this morning that for agriculture for example we have on representative and there are several opening and offices and pavilions where we need to be in discussions but there is only one persons but there is only one person. We can’t be in all the meetings at the same time.”


And that puts Belize at a disadvantage. Being part of the Alliance of Small Islands Developing States, AOSIS, and the Caribbean Community, CARICOM, Belize relies on these two bodies in most of the negotiations. Minister of Sustainable Development and Climate Change Orlando Habet arrived in Dubai on Monday and since then he has hit the ground running.


Orlando Habet

“One of the things that we came with and certainly we want to see established but we know that even before we came that already been approved is the loss and damage fund. We are happy that that has moved forward. So what we will do now is push the countries that have the monies and who can pledge the finances to increase that loss and damage fund hopefully into the billions of dollars because five hundred million dollars is practically for one country alone.”


With weather events intensifying for Small Island Developing States, and with 2023 on its way to being the hottest year in recorded history, Belize is also focusing at adaption financing. Replenishing the Green Climate Fund, doubling adaptation resources, and operationalizing the loss and damage fund are crucial.


Orlando Habet

“We want to see how we can push in the area of adaptation. We know the industrialized countries, the big emitters are looking at mitigation. It is not much for our interest because we want to see more moneys going to adaptation. We need to be resilient in our country and countries who are the vulnerable countries to climate change. So we have our team who is pushing that area of adaptation and adaptation financing. And we also have one of our team leader who is also team leader for AOSIS that’s in leading for mitigation. In terms of transparency, I also think it is very important because Belize has not moved into looking at organizing our BTR, which is a report we have to submit for transparency. We need financing to be able to complete that report and we also need some capacity building from those countries who are already doing it.”


The findings of the Global Stocktake is clear. The situation has worsened and time is running out.


Orlando Habet

“When we look at what the Global Stocktake is now revealing and when we look at also when you see the Year 6 report from the IPCCC, they are more or less along the lines of what the IPCCC is saying. Listen, we’ve come this far from the Paris Agreement. We are not where we are suppose to be. In terms of reducing the temperatures, I think we are at least 1.1 degrees above preindustrial time. So certainly, we will not reach that 1.5 if things as usual.  The good part of it is that they are saying that there are still some time if we look at what the global stocktake is revealing now if we can address these issues especially in mitigation from those countries that are the large emitters but they have to be serious about what they are talking about and what they want to do. From what is being revealed so far, it doesn’t look likely because these larger countries, the big producers of fuel are saying well they want phase down approach rather than a phase out. They shift their conservation into renewable energy and they are not talking about reducing the extraction of petroleum. So it is a problem. For us SIDS it’s a problem because we need to do that transition for us into renewables shouldn’t be to difficult if we can get the finances.”


And at the end of COP28 here in Dubai, we’ll see if promises will be turned into progress. Reporting from COP28 in Dubai, Hipolito Novelo, 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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