The House of Representatives has begun reviewing a Climate Change petition which is demanding more ambitious action to tackle global warming in the country.
The House, upon receiving the bill, voted for the petition to be sent to the Committees on Claims and Petitions; Lands, Mines, and Energy; and other relevant committees to report within two weeks to the august body on the way forward.
The petition was presented to the House by some climate change activists with a clarion call for immediate action on climate change, which is critical.
The activists called on the House to increase the budgetary allotment for the Environmental Protection Agency for awareness and climate resistance system across Liberia.
According to the activists, their request would combat climate change and dedicate the country to a low-carbon future.
Reading the petition, Peterline Mongrue said Liberia faces significant risks as a result of climate change because there is a high level of dependence on climate-sensitive activities such as agriculture which makes the country vulnerable to climate variability.
Activist Mongrue noted with the recent changes in weather patterns in Liberia, the impacts are already being felt on the population in terms of loss of livelihood income and settlement.
"The economy is challenged due to a decline in productive capacity especially in the agriculture sector, huge infrastructure investment along the coastline, (seaports, hospitals, schools, hotels, etc) are also at a huge risk of being destroyed by sea erosion," Ms. Mongrue noted.
Ms. Mongrue then used the situation of JFK and Redemption hospitals, as a classic example of threats posed by climate change to the country's infrastructure.
The JFK and Redemption hospitals are currently threatened by sea erosion and might be lost in a few years.
"Involuntary migration due to coastal erosion, flooding, and drought trigger disputes over land and other resources, which has security implications," she said. "The agriculture sector, which accounts for about 70 percent of jobs and over 90 percent of total export earnings, is even more vulnerable to a changing climate that is leading to intensification of food insecurities and loss of revenue."
Meanwhile, the petitioner is also calling on the Legislature to consider the Ganta declaration as a policy document to combat climate change in Liberia.
The Ganta declaration, among other things, called for the safety of Liberian citizens, including people living with disabilities and vulnerable groups, to be developed because, without policy regulations and its full implementation, there is a high likelihood that climate violence, change, and crisis will increase and affect Liberia at all costs.
The motion to send the petition to committee rooms was preferred by Bong County District #1 Representative Albert B. Hill, Jr., while the joint committee to probe the petition is headed by Claims and Petitions, chaired by Nimba County District #4 Representative Garpue Gargon.