Liberia: LBDI Takes Step to Attract Climate Finance

LBDI Headquarters, Monrovia

The Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) has made a significant decision that would help it attract climate finance to fund the country’s development agenda. 

The bank recently appointed Dr. Paul Ryan, a leading global climate finance expert, as one of its board members to support Liberia’s climate finance initiative.

Ryan is Head of the International Finance and Climate Change Division in the Department of Finance, Republic of Ireland. He is responsible for developing and implementing policy across a range of International Financial Institutions and Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) such as the IMF, World Bank, and African Development Bank.

The International Finance and Climate Change Division also covers Climate Action, which includes International Climate Finance as well as Domestic Climate Action and Sustainable Finance.  Ryan has experience in other Ireland government ministries including Education & Science; Environment & Local Government; and Justice. He was a university lecturer in Geography for which he holds a Ph.D. along with qualifications in Accounting and Finance.

Ryan will help the Government of Liberia with the development and implementation of a new strategic vision for LBDI. He will closely work with the bank’s new Chief Executive Officer, Deo Delaney to achieve this objective. Delaney previously worked with the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) of which Ireland is a shareholder and also worked with the EU Commission and Accenture.

LBDI is currently developing a greater focus on climate-related activities in areas such as Small and Medium Enterprises. The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning is also planning to appoint people with backgrounds in development, climate, and Africa from outside Liberia to the Board of the Bank.

However, Ryan has promised that apart from his role as a member of the Board of Directors of LBDI, he will try and further develop Irish-Liberia relations in a number of fields.

Recently, Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel Tweh, told the 8th National Climate Change Steering Committee Meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture in Congo Town that Liberia was positioning herself to access the carbon market and issuance of green bonds. 

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.

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, Transports and Gender and Children Social Protection.

The gathering also attracted representatives of development partners including the European Union, the United States Embassy, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), local environmental groups, and the private sector. Tweah said that carbon credit 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.