The national youth dialogue, which was held in Ganta, Nimba County from September 15-16, 2020, is part of efforts by the GoL through the EPA to submit a revised NDC to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) by early 2021. Liberia’s economy, population, and environment are highly vulnerable to climate variability and change.NA range of studies, including the Republic of Liberia’s Initial National Communication under the UNFCCC notes that the impacts of climate change are expected to intensify as changes in temperature and precipitation affect economic activity.
According to a release from the EPA, Least Developed Countries (LDCs), like Liberia face a disproportionate impact from climate change, due to their high reliance on climate sensitive sectors and natural resources that are being affected by changes in precipitation patterns, floods, droughts, temperature extremes, disruptions in trade and energy infrastructure among others, yet they are least responsible for changes in global climate. However, in 2015, the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC adopted the Paris Agreement, where countries committed to the common cause to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, together with the aim of strengthening the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change.
Like other countries, Liberia hopes to anchor its revised NDC on the objectives of the Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE). Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE) denotes work under Article 6 of the Convention (1992) and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement. ACE empowers individuals and society at large to take action on climate change, though its 6 elements, which includes education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation.
It aims to leave no one behind and inspires and empowers everyone to amplify efforts for a just transition to a climate-friendly and sustainable future for present and future generations. In 2015 Liberia submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC). The document, according to E. Abraham T. TumbeyJr, manager of Liberia National Adaptations Plan (NAP) Project outlines the country’s intended actions to contribute to the global effort to combat climate change, with climate change adaptation and mitigation targets including an overall target of reducing Green House Gas (GHGs) emissions by at least 10% by 2030.
Mr. Tumbey disclosed that the Liberian Legislature ratified the Paris Agreement on climate change in June 2018 with support from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and EPA of Liberia, bringing the country one step closer to reaching its goals for low-carbon, climate-resilient development. According to him, Liberia has an opportunity to revise and resubmit its NDC in the next few months, including by raising ambition in mitigation and/or adaptation actions, as part of the Paris Agreement’s NDC update process. The enhancement will include the addition of new sectors including land use change and forestry, blue carbon, short-lived climate pollutants and green corridors, considering the adaptation and mitigation benefits of these sectors, Mr. Tumbey added.
The dialogue specifically focused on enabling broad based and inclusive youth participation in the revision of Liberia’s NDCs aimed at meeting its emissions reduction targets in 5 sectors, namely Energy, Forestry, Agriculture, Waste and Transport under the Paris Agreement with possible inclusion of other sector(s) that the previous NDC didn’t capture. The dialogue was funded through the UNDP Climate Promise Initiative – which includes support for enhancing adaptation and mitigation ambitions, broad engagement of the private sector, youth and gender stakeholders, and development of an NDC financing strategy.
The key objectives of the dialogue were: to enhance youth understanding and capacity to participate in the NDC revision; prepare youth submission on the revised NDC; understand the key outcomes/deliverables to be achieved from Liberia’s NDC revision process; to enhance collective and increased Youth participation and involvement to promote climate and development. The dialogue is amongst series of activities funded through UNDP global flagship promise on climate change, support to national Governments in their NDC implementation beginning now to 2030. UNDP Climate Promise supports over 100 countries, including Liberia to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, delivered in collaboration with a wide variety of partners.