The Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) and her partners have successfully reviewed Liberia's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement is an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), dealing with greenhouse gas emissions mitigation, adaptation and finance signed in 2016.
The agreement's language was negotiated by representatives of 196 state parties at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC in Le Bourget, near Paris, France and adopted by consensus on 12 December 2015.
As of February 2020, all UNFCCC members have signed the agreement, 189 have become party to it, and the only significant emitters which are not parties are Iran and Turkey.
Liberia Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Agreement was reviewed on 25 August 2020 at a daylong national inception workshop organized by the EPA and her partners in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
Liberia is a Least Developed Country (LDC), which is vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters, and least able to adapt, due to the weak technical, financial and institutional capacities to identify and pursue resilience building strategies.
Like other Least Developed Countries, Liberia is required by the Paris Agreement to put together her best efforts through nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to be reviewed periodically.
Thirty five Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have defined targets entailing a reduction in their already low per capita Green House Gas (GHG) emissions between 14 and 48 percent from their 2010 level by 2030.
LDCs require external support in the form of technical assistance, facilitating knowledge, accessing technology and financing and other practical tools that allow national and local institutions in setting up the frameworks and provide many of the implementation means to comply with their NDCs.
Tuesday’s revision of Liberia’s NDC was intended to provide support to the building and strengthening of 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.
The event also enabled relevant stakeholders 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.
Randall M. Dobayou, acting executive director at the EPA told the start of the national inception workshop that 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.
He said the initiative allows EPA as party to submit “our Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) that is now referred to as National Determined Contribution (NDC).”
Hon. Dobayou noted that climate change is no longer considered a fringe issue or something that can be managed by the Liberia EPA alone.
According to him, NDC is a vehicle that can get into the heart of government machinery to trigger systemic change for sustainable development.
He disclosed that this year countries worked assiduously to revise and better strengthened their Nationally Determined Contributions ahead of the next Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC (COP26 deadline) hopefully next year.
Dobayou also noted that a new level ambition is fundamental to get on track to a world where “we limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”
The EPA Acting Executive Director said Liberia made a commitment to the world in 2015 collectively through the Paris Agreement, adding “it’s now time that the country domesticates same nationally to ensure that climate change impacts are drastically reduced and emissions levels reduced through the targets we have set and the ones we will set during the revision process.”
Said Dobayou: “this 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 sector and the media in the coming weeks and months.”
Also speaking on behalf of UNDP (CI and EU), Dorsla Farcarthy applauded EPA and her partners for leading the effort to lift Liberia’s development in the fight against climate change.
He said EPA has done well in upholding the Paris Agreement of 2015, noting that NDC revision is very important at this time considering UNDP broad road in environment and development including climate change.
Acting Foreign Minister, Henry Fahnbulleh said Liberia is witnessing changes in climate condition especially during this August month.
He said Liberia has sustained sunshine and summer like weather for a little over three weeks, adding this unprecedented change in climate and is incongruous to what weather experts and climatologists had long resolved.
Acting Minister Fahnbulleh indicated that despite the coronavirus pandemic, Liberia has disrupted human activities and overshadow commitment made by the comity of nation and Liberia has remained focus in fighting the impact of the climate change.
Minister Fahnbulleh said Liberia still remains committed to the Paris Agreement and the political will on the part of President Weah in forging a concerted and united front to mitigate the effect of climate change is strong.