Environment Climate Paris – Konneh Calls for Legally Binding Accord at Paris Climate Confab

The head of the Liberian delegation at the Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21), Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh says Liberia wants a new legally binding agreement out of Paris that will be endorsed by all parties.
Minister Konneh indicated that “A new global agreement will assure the people of the world that we are serious in ensuring sustainable development activities,” emphasizing “The adaptation is key for developing countries, including Liberia as we call for the implementation of the National Adaptation Process to address medium and long-term adaptation activities.”
According to a dispatch from Paris, Minister Konneh indicated that Liberia recognizes the severity of the impacts of global warming and stressed on what will happen to the seven billion people of the world if delegates leave the conference without a deal.
He added that all parties must take significant steps forward in the fight against climate change and remain focused on what was agreed upon in Durban.
The Liberian head of delegation, speaking at the High Level Segment of the Climate Change Conference, said it is an open secret that climate change has been recognized as the most current issue affecting human development, noting that its impacts are causing loss of lives, food insecurity, destruction of infrastructures and the ecosystem.
“Many Least Developed Countries like Liberia continue to experience severe consequences of climate change such as the perennial flooding in urban and peri-urban communities, coastal erosion, pest infestation, increase incidence of health issues such as the Ebola epidemic.” Minister Konneh noted.
“In short, climate change continues to impact Liberia’s socio-economic development,” the Finance and Development Planning Minister bemoaned.
He stated that in response to Liberia’s vulnerability to climate change, the country is presently executing three major adaptation projects, namely Coastal Defense, Climate Agriculture and Early Warning System Projects.
Minister Konneh further indicated that to enhance Government’s intervention; Liberia has completed and submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions. Liberia’s INDC provides the way forward for the government in addressing climate change in the areas of mitigation and adaptation. Liberia’s INDC, he added, demonstrates government’s intent to address the impacts of climate change, but will require adequate and predictable finance for implementation.
“Capacity building has been identified as a major issue that needs to be considered in the new agreement. With this, Liberia calls for the establishment of a Capacity building Mechanism and Liberia remains committed to decision 23/CP.18 and other COP decisions on gender.” He maintained.
He also called for further action to speed up the implementation of the Lima Work Program on Gender. Stressing, “Adaptation and mitigation efforts under the new agreement should be consistent with human rights taking into account gender equality, equal access to decision making and benefit sharing. Issues around capacity, technology development and transfer, and finance should also include a gender- sensitive /gender – responsive climate approaches.”
He concluded by extending Liberia’s profound thanks and appreciation to parties that have contributed to the replenishment of the Least Developed Countries Fund and urge other parties that are in the position to also make their contributions.
Minister Konneh was accompanied to the meeting by members of the Liberian delegation including Transport Minister Angela Cassell-Bush, The Executive Director of the Environmental Protection Agency Anyaa Vohiri, Deputy Gender Minister Sieane Laurine Abdul-Baki, Liberia’s Ambassador to France, H.E. C. William Allen, Assistant Foreign Minister for European Affairs Israel Choko Davies and Assistant Finance Minister for Budget Augustine K. Blama among others.

PARIS JOURNAL MAGAZINE