Liberia: EPA Trains National Stakeholders to Implement Revised Nationally Determined Contributions

Monrovia — The Environmental Protection Agency in collaboration with the European Union, under the Long-term Technical Assistance (LTTA) to the EPA Project, has over the weekend concluded a one-day capacity building workshop to mainstream emission reduction targets in the Energy, Waste and Transport sectors. Regarded as the mitigation sectors, these 3 sectors hold the key to low emissions development in Liberia if sectorial actions can reflect the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) commitments as contained in the revised NDC.

The event provided a platform for participants from the mitigation as well as the cross-cutting sectors (youth, gender, academia) to shape their approach to the NDC roadmap and to reinforce ongoing capacity-building efforts of the EU-Liberia LTTA Project.

At the workshop, it was disclosed that Liberia has made progress in the implementation of its revised NDC as the country is expected to submit its NDC to the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat on July 30, 2021.

The NDC is a low emissions development roadmap that will guide Liberia towards reducing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the attainment of the global goal of keeping the temperature at or below 2 degrees. As part of the NDC sectorial measures, the energy sector will increase the use of solar energy and expand large and medium-size hydropower plants, which will require private sector investment.

In order to better coordinate the activities of the energy sector, it is believed that Liberia will need a full-fledged Ministry of Energy focusing primarily on the provision of clean energy thereby reducing GHG emissions from the energy sector, which is the highest GHG emitting sector.

Liberia's electricity consumers pay very high tariffs because of the huge losses the Liberia Electricity Corporation (LEC) incurs mainly due to power theft. Hence, another target is to reduce LEC's losses by 10% by 2025. The Government of Liberia and partners will also promote the use of energy-efficient cookstoves and solar lamps, and medium-size biomass projects will be implemented focusing on forestry and agricultural waste.

In the waste sector, robust awareness raising and enforcement will be carried out to encourage people to pay for the collection of their waste. Liberians also need to sort their waste to reduce the amount of waste going to the landfill. Cans, plastics, glass and metals can be recycled or reused, while biodegradable waste can be processed as compost either at home or at the industrial level.

According to the resent study done by the LTTA Project, the document suggests that the average household in Liberia generates 1.4 tons of waste per year, therefore a charge of $1 per week for household waste collection can support the procurement of vehicles, equipment and other logistics needed to manage waste.

The transport sector proposes a renewed focus on the importation of electric/solar kehkehs (for private use) and electric/solar waterway shuttles (for public use). Another proposed measure is to replace conventional fuel vehicles with Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV). In addition, the use of oil palm biodiesel instead of gasoline and diesel for vehicles is proposed in the NDC, which will lead to a 40% reduction in GHG emissions.

During the training, several presentations were made by the sector focal persons as well as other Experts from the LTTA Project. Dr. Manuel Fuentes, the Project Team Leader, presented on the cost and benefits of each measure in the 3 revised NDC sectors. In his presentation, Kumeh Assaf, the Expert responsible for mainstreaming the NDC said, "In the implementation of the revised NDC, we have to be adaptive in the midst of different crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. We also need to build sectorial databases with quantitative data, and build the capacity of institutions to enact as well as to enforce laws; for example, to fight power theft and ensure that people pay for waste collection." This, according to him, will generate much-needed internal financing as well as the will to sustain NDC actions at the national level.

The workshop brought together 23 participants from various Government Ministries, Agencies and Commissions (MACs) as well as representatives of NGOs, the Private Sector and Academia which include: the Ministry of Transport, Monrovia City Corporation, Paynesville City Corporation, Liberia National Police, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Liberia Youth Action Network, the Environmental Protection Agency, Federation of Road Transport Unions of Liberia, University of Liberia, the Private Sector such as Green Gold, and the Swedish Embassy.

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