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Belize delegation concludes participation at COP28, takes pivotal roles

Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2023. 8:12 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: Belize’s delegation to the 28th Conference of the Parties of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC/COP) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, has reported, albeit limited, many global and local successes, according to a summary issued today by the Government of Belize.

Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management Orlando Habet; CEO Dr Kenrick Williams and lead national negotiators ambassadors Carlos Fuller and Dr. Janine Felson put Belize at the center of global discussion, leading active contributions on global climate change mitigation and adaptation actions, advancing key negotiations and forging collaborative partnerships at the global climate summit.

Belize participated in 21 side events on issues ranging from global net-zero transition to the SIDS Coalition for Nature and People Mangrove Breakthrough, and a dialogue on the United Kingdom’s 10-Point Plan for Financing Nature. Other CEOs and technical leads participated in events related to agriculture, the blue economy, and energy, while there were also bilateral meetings fostering collaborations with key nations and organizations. These included Cuba, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates, the PEW Charitable Trust, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and the Central American Commission for Environment and Development, among others.

Minister Habet delivered Belize’s national address to the gathering on December 9, demanding “transformative action, impactful leadership, and climate justice” and detailing Belize’s ambition and implementation of its national mitigation and adaptation actions.

Belize will be represented on the Adaptation Fund Board in 2024-2025 by CEO Williams, shaping global adaptation strategies and ensuring a seat at the table in directing needed climate finance to SIDS like Belize; on the Santiago Network for Loss and Damage Advisory Board and the Loss and Damage Fund Board for the 2025 term, further solidifying its position as a proactive force in addressing climate-related challenges; has been named a founding member of the Commonwealth GENIUS (Geospatial Expert for United Solutions) program in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat. The initiative aims to utilize geospatial data supporting the management of natural resources, including supporting carbon stock assessments and overall climate-resilient development; and will now have access to the toolkit for Climate Finance Advisors. This marks a significant step in empowering Belize to navigate and access climate finance effectively, as more than 200 Belizeans will have the opportunity to be trained and certified in climate finance.

Negotiations led to US$700 million in pledges for the Loss and Damage Fund, of which the World Bank is interim trustee and host of the secretariat; and parties have agreed to priorities including the tripling of renewable energy capacity, the doubling of energy efficiency by 2030, the phase-down of coal power, a just transition away from fossil fuels in energy systems, and the phasing out of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies. Ambassador Fuller co-facilitated the negotiation, while Colin Mattis was AOSIS’ chief negotiator.

The 29th UNFCCC/COP will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, in a year’s time.

 

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