Governments must take steps to address loss and damage from adverse effects of climate change: Belize

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Lisel Alamilla

Governments need to provide clarity on scaling up the mobilisation of 100 billion USD per year by 2020 to assist developing countries in both adaptation and mitigation, Belize's Minister of Forestry and Sustainable Development Senator Lisel Alamilla told the UN climate change conference in Warsaw.

She noted that since 2012, developing countries have had no assurance that the much touted Copenhagen 100bn commitment will be fulfilled.

Instead, she said, there have been excuses of why it cannot be reached even though that Copenhagen commitment was not imposed upon any country, but was undertaken as a sovereign decision of those who subscribe to Copenhagen.

TAPE:Governments must also take steps to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change from extreme and slow-onset events. This is extremely important for our region, as climate change inflicts loss and damage on our economies, livelihoods, coastal infrastructure, ecosystems, food and water supplies. … Belize is one of the leaders in the region in having a 63% renewable energy mix with 96% of our domestic energy production coming from renewable energy sources. Recently, the Government of Belize has approved a National Energy Policy Framework which outlines Belize's path to greater energy efficiency, sustainability and resilience over the next 30 years.

NAR: Senator Alamilla stressed that adaptation is now an imperative for our sustainability. She said Belize is a low lying coastal state with a fringe of islands and cays extremely vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and climate variability. The livelihoods of our people are persistently threatened by floods that destroy homes, roads and bridges while leaving communities isolated, she said.

TAPE: Belize is entrusted with the largest Barrier Reef System in the Northern Hemisphere, a system that includes three of the four atolls in the Caribbean and over a thousand cays. It is estimated that the reef systems provides over $559 million US dollars in goods and services. However, this World Heritage site is being threatened by higher sea temperatures and ocean acidification caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the ocean.

Minister of Sustainable Development Lisel Alamilla noted that adaptation was costly for her country, stressing that critical climate change financing was needed to move Belize towards a climate resilient and low-carbon future of sustainable development.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 2’58″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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