Liberia Renews It Support to The Implementation of The Paris Agreement

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Min. Fahnbulleh said, despite the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted human activities and overshadow commitment made by the comity of the nation, Liberia has remained focus on fighting the impact of climate change.

MONROVIA – The Acting Foreign Affairs Minister, Henry B. Fahnbulleh, has on behalf of the Government of Liberia renewed the country’s support to the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

Speaking as the chief launcher at the National Inception Workshop for the Revision of Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement organized by the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) in partnership with European Union (EU) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), NDC Partnership through Conservation International (CI), Min. Fahnbulleh said, despite the coronavirus pandemic has disrupted human activities and overshadow commitment made by the comity of nation, Liberia has remained focus in fighting the impact of the climate change.

The Minister indicated that Liberia still remains committed to the Paris Agreement and the political will on the part of President George M. Weah in forging a concerted and united front to mitigate the effect of climate change is strong.

Speaking further, the Minister called for the establishment of what he called the “The Liberia Climate Change Trust Fund” stressing that the formulation and revision of the Nationally Determined Contribution must “be inclusive, consultative and transparent”. He on behalf of the government of Liberia committed to support all activities of the Paris Agreement as he warned of the devastating consequences of global warming which he mentioned has affected places like coastal Buchanan, Grand Cape Mount, Montserrado and other areas in the country.

Min. Fahnbulleh revealed that Liberia is witnessing changes in climate condition every year. According to him, this unprecedented change in climate is incongruous to what weather experts and climatologists had long resolved. He asserted that most citizens living along the coastal line of the country have witnessed the impacts of climate change by the rapid dissipation of the lands moreover, “Liberia is also witnessing the changes in the climatic conditions especially during this August month”.

“We have had sustained sunshine and summer-like weather for a little over three weeks, this unprecedented change in climate is incongruous to what weather experts and climatologists had long resolved that Liberia should see rains during the month of August because it is rainy season”, Minister Fahnbulleh lamented.

The Acting Minister, however, revealed that the change in the global climate system has disrupted every facet of human lives which continue to cause the loss of lives, failure of agriculture and energy system as well as coastal erosion, increase in human infectious diseases like Ebola, Corona among others. He also said that “this harsh reality places upon all policymakers, citizens, international partners and the government functionaries the duty to act fast and take concrete and sustainable actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change”.  

In closing, Min. Fahnbullah thanked the partners for their support to the government and people of the Republic of Liberia and admonished EPA and participants on gender sensitivity and youth inclusion into the climate change related activities.  

For his part, the EPA Acting Executive Director, Randall M. Dobayou, II said “the revision of Liberia’s NDC is a much-needed extension of the enormous efforts Liberia has witnessed, participated, signed unto, ratified and domesticated over the years, including the Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015”.  This initiative he said, allows EPA as party to submit our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) that is now referred to as National Determined Contribution (NDC). According to him, NDC is a vehicle that can get into the heart of government machinery to trigger systemic change for sustainable development. 

Dobayou asserted that, climate change is no longer considered a fringe issue, nor something that can be managed by Liberia EPA alone.  However, he mentioned that “Liberia made a commitment to the world in 2015 collectively through the Paris Agreement. It’s now time that the country domesticates some nationally to ensure that climate change impacts drastically reduced emissions levels through the targets we have set and the ones we will set during the revision process”.  Further speaking, he said, “this ceremony is just the first step and not the end; this will be followed by series of national consultations and engagements across the country involving key stakeholders such as: women, youth, civil society, policy makers, traditional leaders, private sector and the media in the coming weeks and months.” In closing, he also noted that there is a new level ambition which is fundamental to get on track to a world where “we limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

“The Inception ceremony is just that first step and not the end, this will be followed by series of national consultations and engagements across the country involving key stakeholders such as: women, youth, civil society, policy makers, traditional leaders, private sectors, the media among others in the coming weeks and months”, Dobayou mentioned. Dobayou further stated that with the revision of the NDC, the country can speed up, scale up and act up towards a new era evolving from the universal spirit of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement respectively.

The well-organized inception workshop and launched the revision of Liberia’s NDC to the Paris Agreement aimed at  building and strengthening Liberia’s national capacity to implement the Paris Climate Agreement through climate mitigation and adaptation solutions as outlined in the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), through reduced greenhouse gas emissions , building capacity of key actors in climate change resilience as well as creating awareness of climate change challenges among the population was held on Tuesday, August 25, 2020 at the Paynesville city hall in Montserrado county .

The event also enabled relevant stakeholders from 12 different government line ministries and agencies to understand what the revision of Liberia’s NDC process entails and the key deliverables to be achieved from the review process. It also helped to enhance collective and increased national participation and involvement to promote climate and development action in Liberia and the promotion of climate and development actions on Liberia.

Liberia, like many Least Developed Countries (LDCs) is one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change and natural disasters, and at the same time least able to adapt, due to the weak technical, financial and institutional capacities to identify and pursue resilience building strategies.

Liberia as part of the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) face a disproportionate impact from climate change, due to their high reliance on climate sensitive sectors and natural resources that are being affected by changes in precipitation patterns, floods, droughts, temperature extremes, disruptions in trade and energy infrastructure among others, yet they are least responsible for changes in global climate. However, in 2015, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement, where countries committed to the common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, together with the aim of strengthening the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. 

The Paris Agreement requires all Parties to put together their best efforts through nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to be reviewed periodically. Against this, CAEP-NDC Partnership and UNDP Liberia provided funding support to the Government of Liberia to revise its nationally determined contributions aimed at meeting its emissions reduction targets in 5 sectors, namely Energy, Forestry, Agriculture, Waste and Transport under the Paris Agreement and possibility of including additional sectors. The well-meaning technical inception workshop that brought together over 75 participants from all sector.

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