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Belize to sell 5.6 million tons of carbon credits  

GeneralBelize to sell 5.6 million tons of carbon credits  

Photo: Hon. Orlando Habet (left), Belize’s Minister of Sustainable Development—taken during COP27 (Photo by Ken Silverstein)

“We have dutifully managed our conservation and have earned the right to sell carbon credits. It’s time we monetize that,” Minister Orlando Habet said during an interview with a Forbes writer. 

by Marco Lopez
 
BELIZE CITY, Mon. Nov. 21, 2022 
 
Belize is set to sell up to $100 million dollars worth of carbon credits, about 5.6 million tons in total – this is according to a Forbes article published last week. Approximately 60% of the country is covered by tropical forests, and this has attracted the attention of governments and corporations which are unable to meet their emission reduction targets, and which have opted instead to buy credits that serve as carbon offsets from rainforest nations like Belize.

Rainforests are considered carbon sinks, ecosystems that trap and store carbon emissions. With the insistent reliance on fossil fuels by large countries and corporations and the failure to roll out any widespread renewable source of energy, managing and preserving carbon sinks such as healthy forests and oceans has become more important than ever. 

 Limiting timbering and monocultural farming in forest areas comes at an economic cost to small nations like Belize, a cost that parties to the UNFCCC believe requires compensation by those industrialized countries that have caused significant damage to the ecosystems in their own territory. According to Minister of Sustainable Development, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Management, Hon. Orlando Habet, the proceeds from the sale of 5.6 million tons of carbon credits will go back into conservation, restoration, and climate adaptation that are necessary in response to global warming.
 
“We will sell our credits based on quality and credibility. We have rich tropical rainforests, which supply water and feed hundreds of species of birds, plants, and jaguars,” Habet said during his interview with Forbes’s Ken Silverstein.  

As Habet pointed out, our rainforests are a special asset, and since the country has spent years dutifully protecting the resources, he said, “It’s time we monetize that.”

The sales will be carried out under the REDD+ framework, a guide that governs the enhancement of forest carbon stock activities in developing countries, among other sustainable management best practices for forest preservation. 

 Carbon emissions have increased from 36 million tons yearly to yearly levels equivalent to 10 billion dollars in 1960. Reducing this rate of emission is key to slowing the climate crisis and potentially extreme weather events that will be brought on by the rapidly changing climate. 

 At this time, increases in global temperatures are said to have reached close to 1.2 degrees Celsius – with the goal of the Paris Agreement being to keep global temperature hikes below 1.5 degrees by mid-century, but this could be surpassed within 10 years if world emissions remain at the current levels, according to the article. 

 The sale of carbon credits in Belize will signal yet another move by the country concentrated on securing financing based on the conservation efforts that have been ongoing for years. The world’s eyes will be locked on Belize to ensure that proceeds from the sales improve the nation and support adaption and mitigation in the face of the climate crisis.

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