United States Ambassador, Michael McCarthy has assured that the United States of America will help Liberia achieve the ‘impressive’ list of commitments contained in its revised National Determined Contribution (NDC).
Speaking at the launch of Stockholm+ 50 National Consultations at the Monrovia City Hall on Tuesday, 7 March 2022, Ambassador McCarthy congratulated Liberia for the ambition of its revised NDC to fight the adverse effects of climate change.
“Liberia’s impressive list of commitments will challenge all of us because the price is not cheap — nearly US $500 million — and Liberia alone will not be able to meet that cost,” he said.
Ambassador McCarthy promised that the international community will have to meet its own ambitious commitments and the United States has pledged to do the same.
He said contributions from the international community and the US were important because “we know the risks of climate change for Liberia”.
“As the World Bank has pointed out, Liberia is highly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change and highly vulnerable to environmental instability due to its extreme poverty and high dependence on “climate sensitive” sectors such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and energy.
According to him, the heightened risks Liberia faces include coastal erosion and flooding due to more extreme and unpredictable rainfall.
According to him, ordinary Liberians are already experiencing these impacts during this exceptional dry season, which has severely limited the country’s hydro power generation, resulting in daily blackouts.
Speaking further, Ambassador McCarthy explained that at COP26 in Glasgow, Liberia committed to meeting the universal goal of limiting the increase in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees centigrade by 2030.
“As our own government has acknowledged, that will require accelerated action by all of us. We are especially grateful that Liberia was an early signatory of the Global Methane Pledge, and we look forward to working with Liberia on that and other initiatives,” he added.
Ambassador McCarthy said: “At COP26 President Weah spoke of Liberia’s ambition to be a leader in Africa on climate financing. As President Weah pointed out, Liberia is home to more than 43 percent of the Equatorial Guinea rainforest, which are, in his words, “a major part of the global lungs which make it possible for the industrial world to breathe.”
He urged Liberia’s efforts to protect these forests while also finding ways for the Liberians who depend on the forests for their livelihoods to sustain them and prosper.
Also speaking, the Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA), Prof. Wilson K. Tarpeh lauded individuals who turned out for the launch and said they have gathered to reaffirm ourselves to “what our leaders committed 50 years ago when they met to deliberate on human development centering on four major pillars, namely: society, environment, culture and economy.”
Prof. Tarpeh said that leaders of the world who attended the Stockholm conference 50 years ago recognized that both the issues of environment and development could be addressed as two distinct different issues that could be managed in a mutually way.
He thanked Government and people of Sweden for their financial contribution through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Climate Promise Portfolio that led to the completion of Liberia’s revised NDC.
He informed the gathering that the Government of Liberia through the EPA participated in the United Nations Environment Program Assembly (UNEA 5.2) and the Special Session of the United Nations Environment Program at 50 in Nairobi, Kenya.
The meeting, according to the EPA Boss brought together Heads of States and Governments, Ministers of the Environment, Representatives of International Institutions, Civil Society Organizations, experts and many others and a major achievement at UNEA 5.2 was the endorsement by the world’s ministers of environment of banning the usage of single plastic which is causing major pollution in our environment.
He assured that Liberia will continue to participate in all subsequent meetings of the World Summit on Sustainable Development given its significant role in the comity of nations of having the second lung of Africa in terms of carbon sequestration and a significant biodiversity hot spot in Africa.
Prof. Tarpeh lauded Sweden for contributing to peace here through the deployment of its troop and the hosting of the Blue Oceans Conference in Liberia in 2019.
He also thanked other development partners that are working with the EPA to strike a balance between environment and development for the attainment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
Launching the Stockholm +50 National Consultations, Foreign Affairs Minister, Dee-Maxwell Saah Kemayah thanked the Government and people of Sweden for providing funding to support Liberia’s Stockholm + 50 National Consultations; aimed at stimulating an inclusive dialogue.
“The partnership and collaboration of the Government of Sweden and UNDP, along with the EPA and other partners in planning Liberia’s Stockholm + 50 National Consultations remain highly laudable,” he said.
Minister Kemayah assured that Liberia is fully committed to the COP 26 and other protocols and conventions on climate action, and will work with other stakeholders to efficiently manage our natural resources to meet the targets of the sustainable development goals.
“Ours is a commitment, and a responsibility to enable our current generation and posterity to benefit from the natural resources of Liberia,” he added.
He lauded the Government of Liberia, under the astute Leadership of President George Manneh Weah for the bold steps taken towards supporting climate action, to include the ratification of the Paris Agreement, the development of two milestone strategies on climate change and disaster risk reduction and the submission of Liberia’s revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).