Aether support to Belize Low Emissions Development Strategy and Action Plan

01 February 2022

Global climate change is one of the most serious threats to sustainable development in Belize, Central America. Impacts experienced in the country to date include sustained droughts, floods, increased coastal erosion and changing precipitation patterns. Combined, these climate changes and related phenomena are having significant impacts on many environmental, physical, social and economic systems within the country.

Belize, as a small country with relatively minor contributions to global greenhouse gas emissions, has limited capacity to contribute to worldwide mitigation. However, Belize became a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992 and they submitted an updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in September 2021. In this document they have committed to increasing emission reduction ambitions and to develop a long term strategy aligned with achieving net zero global emissions by 2050.

In 2020 and 2021, Aether worked with Vivid Economics and a local consultant to develop a low emission development strategy and action plan for Belize. This complements the recent NDC work and provided pathways to achieve low emission development in Belize until 2050 under ‘High Ambition’ (HA) and ‘Very High Ambition’ (VHA) scenarios. In consultation with stakeholders, Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission projection scenarios were developed for the stationary energy, mobile energy, agriculture, waste and land use change sectors. In Belize, GHG emissions are dominated by those from the forestry and other land use sector (i.e. deforestation), and this sector was estimated to contribute more than 70% of the country’s annual emissions in 2020. However, overall Belize is estimated to be a net sink of GHG emissions primarily due to tree cover. In contrast to standard practice, the emissions arising from imported electricity from Mexico were included in the emission scenarios that were developed in order to ensure a holistic approach. Electricity generation in Belize is mostly from renewable sources (hydro and biomass), with smaller amounts being generated from fossil fuels (diesel, heavy fuel oil, natural gas and oil) to meet peak demand. The country however currently imports a significant share of its needs (approximately 40% in 2017) from Mexico, which is heavily dependent on fossil fuels for its electricity generation.  For the development of the Business As Usual scenario (BAU), it was agreed with stakeholders that in-country electricity generation would remain static going forward and that any increasing demand would be met by increasing the amounts of electricity imported from Mexico.

Overall it was estimated that Belize’s gross emissions would grow more than 40% between 2020 and 2050 under the BAU scenario and that this would be reduced by 45% under the HA scenario and to almost 90% under the VHA scenario.

See all news


Don't just take our word for it...

“The professional service provided by your company was of very high quality and completed within agreed timelines.”

Matthew Dudley, UNFCCC Secretariat

“The Aether team were a joy to work with and I would recommend the consultancy - the service provided throughout the process was exceptional.”

Clare Bayley, Defra

“Professional team and very collaborative communication. Effective result in terms of suggestions for improvement in the quality of the inventory and proposals on how to streamline specific topics.”

Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research

“It has been a pleasure to work with Chris Dore and Richard Claxton from Aether: they did their job in a very professional and timely manner. The workshop was organized and carried out in a cooperative spirit; the information provided to the workshop participants was complete and clear.”

Alina Novikova, UN/ECE Secretariat

“Aether was a great asset in involving/engaging with Member States experts on highly technical subjects regarding GHG reporting. Very clear communication of issues and results.”

Andreas Pilzecker, DG CLIMA

“I must congratulate each of you for your professional and tireless efforts. Let me point out that this has been the 'neatest' in-country review expert review team I have coordinated, and it has been a real pleasure.”

UNFCCC Secretariat

“A heartfelt thank you to all the Aether team for this very comprehensive review – this is certainly turning out to be one of the most beneficial capacity building projects I have ever been involved in.”

Saviour Vassallo, Senior Environment Protection Officer, Malta Resources Authority

“Engaging Aether to support us to develop the first GHG Inventory System and first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for the United Republic of Tanzania has been a rewarding experience due to their high level of professionalism, creativity, timeliness and value for money. We will definitely consider Aether in our future initiatives.”

Abbas Kitogo, Programme Specialist Energy and Climate Change, UNDP Tanzania

“The support provided by Aether for this project was especially remarkable considering the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic. The tools and methods used in order to engage local stakeholders really added value to the capacity building of the national team.”

Shanna Emmanuel, Saint Lucia BUR Project Coordinator

“The team at Aether works very professionally and communicates very well which makes working with them a pleasure. Outputs are delivered on time to high quality. The team brings the rigour of technical knowledge and expertise and finds innovative ways of communicating complex messages. I would be happy to recommend the Aether team to organisations working on analysing and presenting emissions information in the public domain.”

Fiona Glover, States of Jersey

Contact us

Get in touch

Call us on +44 1865 261 466, complete the short form below, or go to the Contact page

 Security code