The acting Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Mr. Randall M. Dobayou, has described climate change as a systemic problem , stating that it should no longer be considered as a fringe or an EPA matter alone.
Dobayou said the Government of Liberia through the EPA made a commitment to the people of the world by being a party to the Paris Agreement, a global framework to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C.
Speaking Tuesday at a one-day National Inception Workshop for the Revising of Liberia’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement, Dobayou underscored the need for Liberia to domesticate the NDCs in order to ensure that Climate Change impacts are drastically reduced through the targets set by the EPA.
NDCs are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of these long-term goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
As part of commitments being made by Liberia through the EPA to accelerate the process of the NDCs, Dobayou noted that in July 2018 Liberia ratified the Paris Agreement as a key fulfillment of all parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
In August 2018, Liberia also launched its Climate Change Policy and Response Strategy, while in September 2019 the nation made an official submission of its National Perspective at the Climate Action Summit-2019.
Also, in 2019, Liberia submitted to the NDCs Partnership under its Climate Action Enhancement Package, a funding that was proposed to revise its NDCs approved in 2020.
“The inception 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, among others in the coming weeks and months,” Dobayou mentioned.
He said with the revision of the framework, 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.
For his part, acting Foreign Affairs Minister Henry B. Fahnbulleh, who served as Keynote Speaker at the workshop, noted that the meeting demonstrates a national commitment towards a renewed roadmap in the fight against Climate Change in Liberia.
Fahnbulleh stated 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, emphasizing that 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 the rainy season,” he indicated.
Fahnbulleh maintained that the change in the global climate system has disrupted every facet of human life which continues to cause the loss of lives, failure of agriculture and energy systems as well as coastal erosion, increase in human infectious diseases like Ebola, Corona, among others.
“This harsh reality places upon all policy makers, 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,” Fahnbulleh noted.