Liberia calls for binding climate change agreement

Liberia's Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh speaks at the climate change conference in Paris

Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh speaks at the climate change conference in Paris

The head of the Liberian delegation at the Paris Climate Change Conference/COP21, Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh says Liberia wants a new legally binding agreement out of Paris that will be endorsed by all parties. 

Speaking at the High Level Segmentof the conference on Monday, Minister Konneh emphasized that a new global agreement will assure the people of the world that we are serious in ensuring our sustainable development activities.

He added that adaptation is key for developing countries including Liberia and therefore called for the implementation of the National Adaptation Process to address medium and long term adaptation activities.

Liberia, Minister Konneh noted, recognizes the severity of the impacts of global warming and stressed on what will happen to the seven billion people of the world if the conference concludes without a deal. He called on all parties to  take significant steps forward in the fight against climate change and remain focused on what was agreed to in Durban. 

The minister said it is an open secret that climate change has been recognized as the most current issue affecting human development, noting that its impacts are causing loss of lives, food insecurity, destruction of infrastructures and ecosystem.

Minister Konneh noted that many least developed countries like Liberia continue to experience severe consequences of climate change such as the perennial flooding in urban and peri-urban communities, coastal erosion, pest infestation, increase incidence of health issues such as the Ebola epidemic. In short, climate change continues to impact Liberia’s socio-economic development.

He averred that in response to Liberia’s vulnerability to climate change, the country is presently executing three major adaptation projects, namely Coastal Defense, Climate Agriculture and Early Warning System Projects. 

He noted that to further enhance Government’s intervention; Liberia has completed and submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Liberia’s INDC provides the way forward for the government in addressing climate change in the areas of mitigation and adaptation. Liberia’s INDC, he added, demonstrates the government’s intent to address the impacts of climate change, but will require adequate and predictable finance for implementation.

He added that capacity building has been identified as a major issue that needs to be considered in the new agreement. With this, Liberia calls for the establishment of a capacity building mechanism and Liberia remains committed to decision 23/CP.18 and other COP decisions on gender.

He called for further action to speed up the implementation of Lima Work Program on Gender.  He said adaptation and mitigation efforts under the new agreement should be consistent with human rights, taking into account gender equality, equal access to decision making and benefit sharing. Issues around capacity, technology development and transfer, and finance should also include a gender- sensitive /gender – responsive climate approaches.

He concluded by extending Liberia’s profound thanks and appreciation to  parties that have contributed to the replenishment of the Least Developed Countries Fund and urge other parties that are in the position to also make their contributions. 

Minister Konneh was accompanied to the meeting by members of the Liberian delegation which included Transport Minister Angela Cassell-Bush, The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency Anyaa Vohiri, Deputy Gender Minister Sieane Laurine Abdul-Baki, Liberia’s Ambassador to France C. William Allen, Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs Israel Choko Davies and Assistant Finance Minister for Budget Augustine K. Blama, among others.

 

Isaac Yeah

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