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Efforts of the Government of Liberia to Mitigate Destructive Climate Change

by | 04-10-2015 02:03 recommendations 0

Liberia is experiencing major climate change hazards due to its high exposure, owing to the country's low economic base, dependence on rain-fed agriculture, reduced rainfall in the forest areas with relatively heavier rainfall along the coast leading to extreme coastal flooding events, increasing coastal erosion, and huge reliance on biomass energy, plus the low capacity to adapt at the community and national levels. Liberia's ability to adapt to climate change is very limited and hence, the country's vulnerability is severe due to the poor state of the economy and limited access to new technologies. The overarching economic pressure has fueled unsustainable agricultural practices, logging, and unregulated coastal sand mining. The meager level of socio-economic development and limited infrastructures signals that Liberia's capacity to adapt to climate change is limited.

In Liberia today, the energy sector is the highest contributor of greenhouse gases, emanating mainly from the use of traditional fuels such as firewood, charcoal, and palm oil and the use of fossil fuels, especially petroleum products. In an effort to reduce the reliance on traditional fuel and increase the use of modern and renewable energy sources, the National Energy Policy (2009) was developed with a set of goals targeted at maximizing efficiency, minimizing costs, and adverse environmental impacts as principle of extending energy access to all Liberians. Moreover, Liberia's Initial National Communication (2013) reinforces the National Energy Policy with additional long-term targets and related activities, which includes:

• Reducing greenhouse gases by at least 10% by 2030

• Improving energy efficiency by at least 20% by 2030

• Raising share of renewable energy to at least 30% of electricity production and 10% of overall energy consumption by 2030

• Replacing cooking stoves with low thermal efficiency (5-10%) with the higher-efficiency (40%) stoves


The long-term strategy of the Government of Liberia is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The strategic options for mitigation considered under the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) are the energy sector, waste sector, and the transport sector. The Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) presents a platform to integrate its Low Carbon Development Strategy into the country's long-term sustainable development Vision by 2030 (Agenda for Transformation).

The Waste Sector focuses on solid waste disposal on land. In 2000, the waste sector accounted for about 0.60% of Liberia's national total CO2 eq emissions. A significant subcategory is CHemissions from solid waste disposal sites (SWDS) on land, which contributed 91.7%. Meanwhile, CH4 mitigation targets covered under the INDC will include landfill recovery, waste incineration with energy recovery, composting of organic waste, controlled wastewater treatment, and recycling and waste minimization.


In 2002, Liberia ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol, and developed its National Adaptation Programme of Action in 2008 followed by its Initial National Communication to the UNFCCC in 2012. Liberia is currently implementing Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) readiness activities. Liberia covers an area of 111,369 square km (11,137,000 ha), with 13.5% covered by water and the remaining 86.5% consisting of land. The coastline of Liberia is an estimated 565-km in length. Despite substantial forest loss in yesteryears, Liberia is a net carbon sink and still has significant forest, estimated around 30% of total land in 2009 by Food and Agriculture Organization. In addition, Liberia holds around 40% of the remaining West African moist forest (Upper Guinean Forest).


Forthwith, the country is gearing up to implement rigorous mitigation actions that will focus on the following sectors orientation and specific actions:

Energy Sector:

1.       Strengthen implementation and coordination mechanisms to improve climate change mitigation actions

2.       Implement quantitative and qualitative research and improve systematic priority sequencing between the National Energy Policy, Low Carbon Economy, and National Vision 2030 developmental goals

3.       Strengthen institutional and individual capacity in renewable energy technology and management

4.       Implement and strengthen policy that promotes private investment in renewable energy (hydro, biomass, solar, etc.)

5.       Rehabilitate existing hydro-power plants and build new hydro-power plants to increase hydro-power production capacity

6.       Produce and distribute 280,543 energy saving cook stoves that use fuel wood and 308,004 energy saving cook stoves that use charcoal by 2030

7.       Implement large scale biomass projects to generate approximately 30 MW by 2030

 Waste Sector:

1.       Strengthen institutional and individual capacity for waste management

2.       Develop waste management infrastructure

3.       Implement and strengthen policy that promotes private investment in waste management

4.       Capture methane gas emitted from landfills and used for fueling vehicles, cooking at home, or generation of power

 Transport Sector:

1.       Mainstream climate change into existing transport management plan to strengthen emission control

2.       Strengthen institutional capacity for developing strategies for integrated transport services develop technical and safety standards and the enforcement of policies including emission control

3.       Improve the quality and reliability of transport infrastructure and services

4.       Develop emission reduction and tracking system of pollutants from vehicles

5.       Blend up to 5% of palm oil biodiesel with both gasoline and diesel by 2030 for vehicles


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  • Luiz Bispo says :
    That is great news mate. Thanks so much for sharing with us!!! Keep it up! =D
    Posted 07-10-2015 14:49

  • Rohan Kapur says :
    Well detailed report Gibson. The plans of the authorities are ambitious & well presented. Hope they will convert into reality & we have a greener Liberia.
    Posted 07-10-2015 12:41

  • says :
    Thank you for sharing, Ambassador. African countries are positioned to benefit from the Green Climate Fund if our pledges are optimistic to be achieved.
    Posted 06-10-2015 22:43

  • says :
    Thanks for the report.
    Lot of initiatives have been planned .
    We are interested to know about the higher-efficiency (40%) stoves .
    Posted 05-10-2015 20:33

  • says :
    Though Liberia has been engulfed with the consequences of climate change, it is positive aspect to see ambitious INDC presented by Liberia. Together we can mitigate climate change effects, let's will at first :)
    Thank you for sharing a detailed report dear Gibson :)
    Posted 05-10-2015 19:13

  • says :
    Glad to read about your government's efforts towards combating climate change.Thanks for sharing. , Gibson.
    Posted 04-10-2015 20:29

  • Arushi Madan says :
    Thanks for sharing your government's plans to mitigate climate change in various sectors.
    Posted 04-10-2015 12:15

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