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Excerpt from npr.org

World leaders are preparing for the major U.N. climate conference, COP26, that starts in Glasgow later this month. And there’s one group of countries that hopes to have an outsized influence on the negotiations. That’s the small island nations, places like Fiji, the Maldives and the Solomon Islands. These countries have a low carbon footprint but have already begun to experience severe effects of climate change – flooding, erosion, in some cases, the threat of utter submersion.

These small nations are facing a diplomatic challenge as well going into Glasgow. They don’t have the influence of places like the U.S., China and Europe. Their mission is to convince powerful nations to curb their emissions sharply, but they’re also asking wealthier nations to pay large sums to mitigate the damage that small islands have experienced.

To learn more, we reached out to Ambassador Janine Felson. She’s an adviser to the Alliance of Small Island States and the deputy head of the delegation from Belize that’s heading to the Glasgow conference. Belize, of course, is not an island; it’s a coastal Caribbean country between Mexico and Guatemala. But as Ambassador Felson explains, Belize is dealing with many of the very same catastrophic climate issues as some of its island neighbors.

I started by asking Ambassador Felson to describe some of the changes she’s been seeing in Belize.

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