Global climate warming will affect the Caribbean and Central America in many ways. The effects of global warming can be either beneficial or harmful, and by appropriate and timely action we can maximise benefit and minimise loss.

For a broad overview of climate change in the Caribbean

Global warming is particularly threatening to the coral reefs fringing Belize.

Beneficial changes

Beneficial effects will include increased economic support for activities that retain forest, or that increase the amount of forest through planting trees.

There will also be increased support for the use of energy efficient sources such as solar that will also lower power costs.

Projects to improve the environment and biodiversity,and develop sustainable agricultural and aquaculture will increase. These include better agricultural crops and methods of production, integrating aquaculture with agriculture, and land management.

The above activities generate employment through direct employment, and by creating new industries, new professions and trades, and provide youth employment.

Harmful changes

Harmful changes may include changes in rainfall such as frequency, seasonality, and intensity of storms and hurricanes, and certainly increased sea and land temperatures and sea level rise.

There will be general detrimental affects on biodiversity and wildlife.

A particular threat to Belize, and other low lying areas in the Caribbean and Central America, from climate warming is increased sea temperatures resulting the loss of coral and fisheries, and also rising sea levels.

Sarteneja is dependent on fishing for much income, and the area is low lying. Increased sea levels will reduce available land, increase damage from hurricane surges, increase coastal erosion, and release nutrients that will alter the marine environment.

Increased sea levels and intense rainfall will released silt and nutrients amd result in sea-grass loss and damage to coral.

Reducing climate change

The main ways Belize can minimise climate change are to:

  • ReduceSOOT from burning.  Soot is a major contributor to global warming.
  • Maintain rainforest or plant forests on unproductive land. Forests capture carbon,
  • Use less energy that comes from fossil fuel.
  • Use more solar energy.

The use of solar energy and wind energy for electricity generation, reduces reliability on fossil fuels, provides a reliable source of power, and generates income.

Sarteneja has the driest and sunniest climate in Belize. This capacity to generate solar energy, and the large transmission loss to Sarteneja, makes Sarteneja an ideal location to develop solar energy for region.