Delegates At The GCF Conference Delegates At The GCF Conference

Liberia Holds Big Int’l Environmental Confab

Members of the Board of Advisors and Active Observers are convening in Liberia to discuss how the Green Climate Fund (GCF) can sharpen its vision and strategic priorities to deliver greater impact in support of climate action in the developing countries it serves.

As the world’s largest fund dedicated to empowering countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change, GCF drives climate finance to where it is needed most; all developing countries including those particularly vulnerable to climate change, among them African States, Small Island Developing States, and other Least Developed Countries.

The Government of Liberia(GoL) is hosting athree-day, informal Board meeting. Serving as proxy on behalf of the President of Liberia, Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweah said: “Protecting the planet now is not a choice but a mandate for this generation. As such, all Governments, from both developed and developing countries, must harness resources through the Green Climate Fund to promote low carbon economies and climate resilient development.”

The 24-member GCF Board, consisting equally of developing and developed country representatives, is meeting to progress the fund’s strategic vision, priorities and plan for the next four years, to support countries’ efforts to combat the climate crisis and achieve their Paris Agreement goals.

Nauman Bashir Bhatti of Pakistan, who takes over the reins as a new GCF Board Co-Chair this year, said: “As a country-driven organisation, GCF must ensure it responds effectively to the needs and priorities of developing countries, and align its stakeholder engagements, portfolio, and financing accordingly. Thus taking into consideration the review of the Strategic Plan

Sue Szabo, new Co-Chair from Canada, said: “This week’s meeting is taking place at a critical time for the fund. A successful replenishment in 2019 means GCF must enhance its strategy to dramatically scale-up its programming and reach more vulnerable people, communities and countries with flexible and innovative solutions.”

Liberia is particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change. With 560-kilometres of coastline and 70 percent of the population living in coastal cities, sea level rise and erosion both pose significant threats to the country.

Nathaniel T. Blama, Sr., Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia, said: “In the wake of advancing GCF’s Strategic Plan, the meeting in Liberia this week offers an opportunity for the Fund to understand the depth of the threats posed by climate change on developing countries and the need to provide resources faster.”

Of GCF’s total approved funds of USD 5.6 billion, nearly 40 percent, or 2.2 billion, has been directed to African countries to support approximately 50 projects.

While expressing his gratitude to the Liberian Government for hosting the board meeting, YannickGlemarec, GCF Executive Director, said: “The burgeoning demand for climate finance reflects the high ambitions shared by many developing countries to scale up climate action and the urgent need to do so. I’m confident this meeting will help refine the Fund’s strategy to finance transformative initiatives with life-changing potential.”

Established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, the Green Climate Fund plays a crucial role in serving the Paris Agreement goal of keeping global temperature rise well below 2 degrees Celsius. GCF is equally interested in funding adaptation and mitigation initiatives and aligns its project financing with developing countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions and adaptation plans. To date, the GCF Board has approved 124 projects in 105 countries, with the potential to prevent 1.6 billion tonnes of C02 emissions equivalent and increase the resilience of 348 million people. In addition, the Fund supports capacity-building “readiness” programmes targeted to 141 countries.

In an exclusive interview with journalists at the end of the formal opening of the meeting, Finance and Development Planning, Tweah noted that with Liberia hosting one of the biggest forest, the Sapo National Park and maple trees, the country has been making strides towards alleviating climate change.

Despite these strides by the country, Minister Tweah argued that Liberia is still vulnerable to climate change. Recalling in 2018 how heavy downpour of rain caused serious disaster.

Therefore, with Liberia being a green country, the need for lot of plans to achieving the green climate goal through robust plans from the environmental sector of the Government.

Hence, the Finance and Development Planning Minister indicated that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is involved to ensure Liberia taps on carbon financing to ensure development.

“Our country loans are maturing and needs to be paid, so leveraging on carbon financing would help offset some of the country’s debt burdens and foster development,” Minister Tweah averred.

He continued: “Smart Financing or Carbon financing means we should not cut our trees down, so that people in Europe can pay us for our carbon which will help finance roads and other developments.”

Also speaking, one of the Board members of the GCF, and Liberia’s representative to the fund, Jeremiah Sokan, in an interview with journalists expressed how proud he is for hosting such s major gathering in the country and as well as representing Liberia and 47 other countries on the board.

With Liberia forest potential, the country can generate up to US$200million through carbon credit and other environmental services.

Also speaking, the Executive Director of the EPA, Dr. Nathaniel Blama, said through the green climate fund, Liberia will access up US$30million dollars to do a sea wall in West Point.

He also disclosed of another US$10million dollars is being secured through the GCF for early warning system and climate adaptation thus preventing flood and other disaster.

According to him, access up to US$120million from GCF to also developed an Eco village for Liberia, as well as the potential to access the voluntary market to access funding for developmental work.

The Green Climate Fund (GCF) is the world’s largest dedicated fund helping developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their ability to respond to climate change. It was set up by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010. GCF has a crucial role in serving the Paris Agreement, supporting the goal of keeping average global temperature rise well below 2 degrees C. It does this by channelling climate finance to developing countries, which have joined other nations in committing to climate action.

Responding to the climate challenge requires collective action from all countries, including by both public and private sectors. Among these concerted efforts, advanced economies have agreed to jointly mobilize significant financial resources. Coming from a variety of sources, these resources address the pressing mitigation and adaptation needs of developing countries.

GCF launched its initial resource mobilisation in 2014, and rapidly gathered pledges worth USD 10.3 billion. These funds come mainly from developed countries, but also from some developing countries, regions, and one city.

GCF’s activities are aligned with the priorities of developing countries through the principle of country ownership, and the Fund has established a direct access modality so that national and sub-national organisations can receive funding directly, rather than only via international intermediaries.

The Fund pays particular attention to the needs of societies that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and African States.

GCF aims to catalyse a flow of climate finance to invest in low-emission and climate-resilient development, driving a paradigm shift in the global response to climate change.

Our innovation is to use public investment to stimulate private finance, unlocking the power of climate-friendly investment for low emission, climate resilient development. To achieve maximum impact, GCF seeks to catalyse funds, multiplying the effect of its initial financing by opening markets to new investments.

 

Read 693 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 February 2020 07:55
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