Stakeholders in Belize discuss COP 21

By Benjamin Flowers
Staff Reporter

This week public and private sector stakeholders gathered at the Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza Hotel to discuss Belize’s national position on climate change.
The two-day consultation hosted by the National Climate Change Office, was held to assist with the preparation of Belize’s Intended National Determined Contribution (INDC) for climate change.

The INDC is a document outlying what each Caribbean Commuity (CARICOM) member will do to decrease the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to global warming. The exercise is in preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 to be held in Paris France on November 30.

Colin Mattis, climate change officer with the National Climate Change Office, explained that during the sessions stakeholders will hear proposals on what will be done in the agricultural sector, energy sector and land use sector.
The stakeholders, at the end of the workshop, will review and validate the INDC making recommendations where necessary. The stakeholders include: Forestry Department, Audobon Society. Belize Enterprise for Sustainable Technologies, the Public Utilities Commission PUC), and Belize Electric Company Limited.

“This is basically a refinement process”, Mattis said. ”What we wanted to do here is to raise awareness in terms of: what the INDC is, where did it come from, what is the methodology that we used to draft it and how it will affect them.”
Carlos Fuller, international and regional liaison at the Caribbean Community climate Change Center (5Cs), explained that Belize will be focusing heavily on the agricultural sector because it represents the bulk of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.

He explained that CARICOM members will present their INDCs to the UN as a means of showing the regional resolve to addressing climate change.
According to the 5Cs, the Caribbean represents approximately one percent of the global carbon footprint (amount of greenhouse gas emitted); however it is one of the regions affected the most by the effects of climate change.

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