‘Climate Change a Global Threat’

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Foreign Affairs Minister Marjon Kamara has warned that unless concrete steps are taken to actualize the Paris agreement on climate change, the world stands to suffer its devastating consequences.

She said while it is equally important to take a critical look at the prospects of financing and development goals, the issue which brought Member States together in New York is essential for all because the issue of climate change concerns the existence of our planet.

According to a dispatch from New York, Minister Kamara was delivering a statement on behalf President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf at the High-Level signing ceremony of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Friday.

The agreement, which ambitiously aims to reduce greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, is intended to limit global warming by 2100 to “well below 2 degrees Celsius” or (3.6 degree F).

Friday’s signing was seen as a major step towards the realization of the target goal, with over 175 countries signing on to the document.

Minister Kamara said there can be no denying that climate change and its effects present an existential threat to the global community including Africa which is threatened by an ever advancing desert, soil erosion on ocean fronts as well as unpredictable rainy seasons.

‘’Ultimately, we are all on the same boat. We both take the difficult steps and make the future of our planet a high global priority or we put future generations at risk,” she indicated, adding, “The one responsibility that we all share as humans is to leave this planet better than we found it.”

Minister Kamara, who joined many world leaders in signing the Paris Agreement, said that signing the binding and universal agreement signifies a renewed hope and commitment to pursue a set of policies and strategies aimed at addressing the adverse impacts of climate change; adding, “Liberia has already initiated actions toward the ratification of the agreement this year.”

Speaking on steps being taken by the government of Liberia towards climate change, Minister Kamara indicated that since 2014, Liberia established a Climate Change Secretariat and developed a national low emission strategy which is being integrated into the country’s Agenda for Transformation. She said this strategy targets reduction in carbon emission, climate agriculture production and defense against coastal erosion. This strategy, according to Minister Kamara, has an implementation period of five years, with overreaching objectives of achieving the “well below 2 degree Celsius” target.

She further informed world leaders that Liberia has also established a national adaptation program of action for climate change and a national biodiversity strategy and action plan for protection of biodiversity. “We are working closely with the private sector and civil society, including women and youth groups to provide education, training and heightening awareness to increase citizens’ participation in climate change activities,” Kamara informed the assembly.

While lauding the progress being made by many countries in developing efficient renewable energy, Minister Kamara said the Paris Agreement charts a new path for global partnership to ensure that all nations have a chance of producing and using clean renewable energy.

She, however, noted that significant increased financial flows and investments are required for the greening of world economies and therefore called on nations to rise to the challenge by taking urgent and robust actions using the Paris Agreement as an enabling platform.

Addressing the world leaders earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the global community is racing against time and that the era of consumption without consequence was over. “The poor and most vulnerable must not suffer further from a problem they did not create,” he urged.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who signed the document while holding his granddaughter, said that the signing marks a milestone in the global effort to fight climate change.

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