Canada pledges to help countries like Belize with climate change adaptation

Friday, November 27, 2015.  BMG: Foreign Affairs Minister Wilfred Elrington is currently representing Belize at the 2015 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Malta, where Canada has pledged an additional five-year, $2.65-billion contribution to help developing countries, like Belize, tackle climate change, as the battle against global warming continues.

This is welcome news for Belize and other Caribbean nations who have already started being affected by climate change. The recent floods exposed how vulnerable the country and especially the commercial capital, Belize City, is to climate change.

Belize has received funding from numerous institutions including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to finance and develop climate change strategies but this latest extension of support is welcomed by the government.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was greeted with applause by his fellow leaders when he announced Canada’s latest contribution to an international climate fund seeking to raise US$100 billion annually by 2020. The announcement came ahead of next week’s international climate change summit in Paris.

The contribution announced Friday is in addition to the $1.5 billion the previous Conservative government contributed to the United Nations (UN) fund. That means Canada has now exceeded the $4 billion target that environmental groups have been urging it to meet as its “fair share,” based on the country’s national wealth.

The United Nations Children’s Fund said the contribution helps establish Canada as a global leader in helping vulnerable children in poor countries affected by climate change.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon praised the Commonwealth for finding common cause on climate change, calling the 53 nations in Malta a “microcosm” of the wider United Nations.

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