Energy in Belize
Belize currently imports 100% of its fossil fuel use (Launchpad Consulting, 2003). Under the San Jose Pact, which Belize signed onto in 1988, Mexico and Venezuela signed a treaty obligating them to offer a concessionary credit from 20-25% of the purchase price of their oil exports. In 1991, both countries increased the oil supply offered under this agreement (Belize – Mining and Energy Industry, 1992). However, fuel prices had jumped to a record high in 2008, over $10 per gallon (Armageddon, 2008).
Since 1981, extensive drilling has occurred throughout Belize to find oil deposits. Near Spanish Lookout and northwest of Belmopan, two oil fields were located. Drilling in these two fields began in 2005 and was predicted to reach a peak by 2010 (Belize, 2010).
Sustainable energy is the main goal for Belize. In 2003, the Public Utilities Commission implemented a one year project entitled Formulation for a National Energy Plan for Belize. The project, funded by the United Nations Development Fund, developed a comprehensive National Energy Policy to promote environmentally sound, safe, reliable, affordable energy (National Energy Plan, 2001).
Belize has also taken a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Belize and Nicaragua Logs Recovery project aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prevent deforestation by salvaging mahogany and other logs in the Belize and Nicaragua Rivers (Legace and Legault International Inc., 2007).
Also, in compliance with the United Nations’ program REDD, Reduction of Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation, a national workshop performing with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Forest Department of Belize are coordinating efforts to forest management and reduction of deforestation (Protecting Belize and other Central American Countries – Reducing Emissions: REDD, 2010). Along with signing the San Jose Pact, Belize has also been a participant to the Kyoto Protocol.
- Armaggedon (2008). Energy Crisis in Belize? What Will GOB Do? Is There a Plan? Koncas. Retrieved from http://www.koncas.com/energy-crisis-in-belize-what-will-gob-do-is-there-a-plan
- Background Note: Belize (2010). U.S. Department of State. Retrieved from http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/1955.htm
- Belize (2010). Energy Files. Retrieved from http://www.energyfiles.com/americas/belize.html
- Belize – Mining and Energy Industry (1992). Mongabay. Retrieved from http://www.mongabay.com/history/belize/belize-mining_and_energy_industry.html
- Launchpad Consulting (2003). Energy for Sustainable Development Toward a National Energy Strategy for Belize. Retrieved from http://www.puc.bz/publications/energy%20sector%20diagnostic%20report%20final.pdf
- Legace and Legault International Inc (2007). Belize & Nicaragua Recovery Project. Retrieved from http://www.ghgregistries.ca/files/projects/prj_8652_750.pdf
- National Energy Plan (2001). Public Utilities Commission. Retrieved from http://www.puc.bz/nep.asp
- Protecting Belize and other Central American Countries – Reducing Emissions: REDD. Expatriate Blog, July 24, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.expatbelize.com/expat- blog/165-protecting-Belize-and-other-central-American-countries-reducing-emission- redd.html