Liberia is now positioning herself to access the carbon market and issuance of green bonds, which would allow the country to generate financing to maintain and protect tracts of forest reserves, and receive the lowest benefits for these ecosystem services.
Green bonds raise funds for new and existing projects which deliver environmental benefits and a more sustainable economy. Green bonds can include renewable energy, sustainable resource use, conservation, clean transportation and adaptation to climate change.
Speaking at the 8th National Climate Change Steering Committee Meeting, Finance Minister Samuel D. Tweah said that carbon credits and issuance of green bonds have to be processed only through the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS). The Carbon Consultative Group is a subset of the NCCS that comprises 26 members including all related development partners to serve as a think tank on technical discussions.
Minister Tweah disclosed that Liberia will not allow itself to be bogged down into models and structures that haven’t worked and explained that the country is going to employ new approaches and innovations going forward.
“This is the clear message the president sent at COP 26, calling for a Carbon Market in West Africa,” he said. “Innovation, new approaches, and new paradigms are going to be explored across government and between the government and its partners."
“For example, how are we going to protect forests?” he asked. There are two sources of challenge to the forest — government revenue through commercial logging is a risk to our forest and private livelihood support is a risk to our forest. In the last 40-50 years under the current model, we have not been able to address deforestation using this exact model. We need to find a new approach to save our forest and meet our target.”
Tweah also noted that there is going to be extensive extraordinary coordination within the government and between the government and its development partners on these principles. The disclosure about the country's preparation to access the carbon market and issuance of green bonds was made at the 8th National Climate Change Steering Committee meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture in Congo Town, by the Minister of Finance, Samuel D. Tweah.
The meeting was attended by representatives of several government ministries and agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, Forestry Development Authority, Ministries of Agriculture, Mines and Energy, Transport, as well as Gender and Children Social Protection. The gathering also attracted representatives of development partners including the European Union, the United States Embassy, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), local environmental groups, and the private sector.
Tweah’s disclosure comes after President George Weah told the UN 26th Conference on Climate Change (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland in 2021 that there was an inherent imbalance in the current architecture of climate financing.
President Weah said although Liberia bears the brunt of the impact of climate change, the country benefits the least from the existing solutions and financial arrangements currently in place for tackling climate change. For his part, the National Coordinator of NCCS, Jeremiah G. Sokan also underscored the need for Liberia to find innovative ways to get money and said it’s not going to be a walk in the park.
“It needs to be carefully done with a collective effort from government line ministries and agencies. We need to work together as brothers and sisters if we must pull it off,” Mr. Sokan said in a presentation titled ‘Global Landscape of Climate’.
He provided the total numbers of climate finance provided and mobilized by developed countries.