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PM Briceno Says Belize Has High Hopes for COP 26

The United Nations Climate Change Conference will be held this year in Glasgow, Scotland and will commence on Sunday, October 31 and end on Friday, November 12. World leaders along with a small city’s worth of diplomats, business executives and activists will show up and the event is being touted as a turning point in the war against the effects of climate change. It’s being referred to as COP26 and there is one main goal: to have nations fulfil promises made six years ago at COP21 in Paris. These countries pledged to collectively cut their greenhouse emissions enough to keep the planet from heating up more than 1.5 degrees. These huge, industrialized countries pledged billions of dollars in aid for poor countries that have been experiencing the brunt of the effects of climate change. Prime Minister John Briceno is leading the Belize delegation and we asked him what are the plans to make Belize’s voice heard on such a global stage.

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “COP 26 is slated to be probably one of the most important meetings that we’ve had probably in history concerning the challenges that we’re facing with climate change and Belize is no exception. We are seeing the direct effects of climate change on Belize. We have droughts, we’ve had historic flooding, the changing of weather patterns so obviously for us COP 26 is very important. We have been preparing from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, the Ministry of the Blue Economy , the Attorney General’s Ministry, the Ministry of Finance and myself as Prime Minister who also have been invited to participate in COP26 in Glasgow Scotland.”

Reporter: How would Belize make it’s little voice known in this global event ?

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “Well I think we have to stand out in what we have been doing so far. Belize has a proud record when it comes to environmental action. As it is right now for instance the renegotiation or the paying off of the superbond and the issuing of the blue bonds we’ll be taking some bold actions. We’ll be reaching to what they call the 2030 initiative which Belize has been a part of by 2026 that is by having special space of 30% of our waters which we’ll be doing out in the blue in the exclusive economic zone so it will not be affecting our fisher folks. And to continue to find innovative ways to have funding for our conservation efforts for our national parks or protected areas and that is what the Blue Bond is going to assist us to achieve. Many countries now are seeing us as an example, as a trailblazer on these matters and as it is right now a number of organizations and countries want to speak to us about that, about the experience, how is it that we managed to accomplish something like this so successfully.”

This year, the Belizean delegation will be the largest to participate. The government is taking a multi-ministerial approach. Prime Minster Briceno says this is extremely necessary.

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize: “It is absolutely necessary because it affects all of these. For instance when it comes to the issue of sustainable development that is the protected areas the Blue Economy deals with the waters, with the sea. The Finance because there’s going to be some serious negotiations when it comes to carbon credits so the Minister of State Minister Coye is going to be there but also the Attorney General has to be there because again it is serious negotiations in effect looking at what contracts we’ll be required to sign. So it is important, it is an investment that is going to be paying off many many times over for what we have been spending. And some of this money is not going to be tax payer money it’s money that we’ve been getting funding. We’re getting funding from the Five C’s and we are also as a head of state also getting funding to pay towards my travel arrangements.”

Love News Reporter Hipolito Novelo will be in Glasglow for COP26 and will bring you daily reports.