BELIZE CITY, Wed. Sept. 8, 2021- Earlier this week, Belize submitted its updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in accordance with the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement.
This document is an updated version of the 2016 NDC submission and this time uses homegrown data, resulting in realistic assessment and mitigation strategies geared toward ensuring adaptation and resilience in response to the impacts of climate change.
Of note, the country listed 7 updates to its goals and the terms to which it committed — thus increasing its climate ambitions.
These include improvements in the data availability and analysis of projections underpinning NDC commitments, especially in the Forestry and Other Land Use (FOLU) sector; committing to realistic and achievable goals; increasing ambition through expanded sectoral targets, expanded coverages of gases covered in targets to include Nitrous Oxide (N‚ O) and Methane in Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector intervention; more specification of targets, including the addition of timeframes, quantified emissions reductions and other outcomes, increased transparency in the development of targets, and details on financing, monitoring, and implementation of NDCs.
The submission indicates that there is a 5% increase in the overall commitments in these updated NDCs.
The updated NDC document states, “Key sector targets include a 63% increase in GHG removals related to the Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) sector and an increase to 75% of renewable energy in electricity generation.”
The document states that targets are also set for a number of sectors to build resilience and develop the capacity to adapt to climate change impacts in important economic sectors.
A major aspect of the updated NDC involves the climate financing that will be necessary to achieve these goals. At this time the cost associated with achieving the mitigation targets set for between 2021 and 2030 is close to USD $1.39 billion. Even with the funding already committed, a shortfall of USD$1.24 billion dollars is estimated.
The actions and targets set for adaptation to the impacts of climate change are estimated at near USD $318 million between 2021 – 2030. A funding gap of USD $146 million is estimated.
Dr. Kenrick Williams, CEO in the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, said, “What was very important for us was that it was an organic process. We’re excited because this process was driven by national-level capacity. We had support from international agencies; however, the data collection, the processing, the analysis was done by local capacities, and so we’re very excited that this is a nationally developed document we have now, because of that process we have more accurate data in terms of our projections.”
An NDC implementation plan is to be developed to set out annual targets and funding conditionalities and requirements.
The updated NDC for Belize states, “Projected climate change impacts for Belize include a rise in temperature of between 2°C and 4°C by 2100, a 7-8% decrease in the length of the rainy season, a 6-8% increase in the length of the dry season and a 20% increase in the intensity of rainfall in very short periods. Other expected impacts include increased erosion and contamination of coastal areas, sea level rise, flooding and an increase in the intensity and occurrence of natural hazards such as hurricanes.”