Liberia Gets Top Post at COP23

Jeremiah Garwo Sokan, Sr. EPA’s National Coordinator for the National Climate Change Secretariat, will represent the LDCs on the board from 2018 to 2019.

Liberia has been elected as a member on the Board of Directors of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to help steer the world to a safer environment by appropriately helping to manage funds meant for vulnerable countries and other communities at the ongoing global climate change conference in Germany.

Liberia replaces Malawi on the Board, and therefore has acquired a top seat at one of the high tables at the ongoing 23rd edition of the Conference of the Parties (COP23) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bonn, Germany, from November 6 to 17.

The conference is being jointly organized by Fiji, which is presiding, with the support of the German government.

Liberia’s election to the GCF Board places her in the spotlight to help in combating the impacts of climate change globally

According to a dispatch from Germany, Liberia was elected on the board to represent 47 “Least Developed Countries (LDCs),” following an intensive and competitive electoral process.

EPA Executive Director, Anyaa Vohiri, who is attending the conference, has nominated the EPA’s National Coordinator for the National Climate Change Secretariat, Jeremiah Garwo Sokan, Sr., to represent the LDCs on the board from 2018 to 2019.

“LDCs are countries which are mainly vulnerable to climate change, but have done the least to cause the problem,” the dispatch said. It would work together at the intergovernmental negotiations under the United Nation Funds for Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to demand wealthier nations act in accordance with their responsibility for creating the problem and addressing it, and to as well play a leadership role in global efforts to prevent dangerous climate change,” it said.

Liberia’s election on the LDCs Board will leverage her more latitude to negotiate additional funding to enhance the country’s efforts in mitigating and adapting to the threats of climate change.

The GCF also pays particular attention to the needs of societies that are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, in particular the LDC, Small Island Developing States, and African States.

The GCF launched its initial resource mobilization in 2014, and rapidly gathered pledges worth US$10.3 billion. These funds come mainly from developed countries and also from some developing countries, regions, and Paris, France.

The conference of parties, through the UNFCCC, was adopted in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, which marked the beginning of the international community’s first concerted effort to confront the problem of climate change. Each year the parties to the agreement convene to assess progress in implementing the convention and, more broadly, dealing with climate change.

However, at the 21st edition of the conference (COP21) held in Paris in November-December, 2015, the parties negotiated what is known as the Paris Agreement, which established specific actions and targets for reducing greenhouse gases emissions, mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change, and financing mitigation and adaptation efforts in developing countries.

The agreement took effect nearly a year later. Signatory countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius and to make strong efforts to keep the rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The Paris Agreement is especially significant because it is a legally binding agreement.

Governments, cities and regions from the 152 countries that have ratified the Paris Agreement, are meanwhile expected to by now meet their national climate change commitments looking for the clean energy, low carbon transport and finance solutions to make this a reality.


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