The Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia (EPA) is expected to commence a two-day consultative meeting on Friday, July 10, 2020 to launch the development of Liberia’s Green Climate Fund (GCF) Country Program document.
The country program document represents a critical step toward turning Liberia’s climate change action aspirations into reality and identifies short and long term projects and investment priorities that will help realize a paradigm shift in achieving low-emission and climate-resilient development in Liberia.
The document also catalogues programs that would be funded by GCF.
GCF is the world’s largest dedicated fund helping developing countries reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and enhance their ability to respond to climate change.
It was set up by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010.
GCF has a crucial role in serving the Paris Agreement, supporting the goal of keeping average global temperature rise well below 2 degrees C.
It does this by channelling climate finance to developing countries, which have joined other nations in committing to climate action.
Over the past years, the Liberian Government through the EPA has been engaged with the GCF to support several climate development projects in Liberia.
For example, the Monrovia Metropolitan Climate Resilient Project was developed and submitted to the GCF through the UNDP.
Also, the Climate Information Service project was developed and forwarded to the GCF Secretariat via the African Development Bank. These projects could receive funding by October 2020.
It is important to note that the GCF presents an opportunity for Liberia to source financial support of scale to fund climate sensitive development programs in the national development plan; Pro- Poor Agenda for Prosperity & Development.
“Reasons being, the GCF just raised $9.77 billion in October 2019 to fund projects from developing Countries. These resources can only be accessed by Countries that submitted transformational concept notes, funding proposals to the GCF Secretariat,” ” Jeremiah G. Sokan, Sr. national coordinator of the National Climate Change Secretariat (NCCS) said.
These resources, according to him can only be accessed by countries that submitted transformational concept notes, funding proposals to the GCF Secretariat.
Mr. Sokan disclosed that Liberia needs to leverage GCF resources to attract development funding from World Bank, major economies like German, France and UK.
GCF offers variety of financial instruments ranging from grants to very low concessional financing and guarantees.
To access these instruments and resources requires having in place stronger national coordinating mechanisms, robust consultative process and efficient institutional capacity to develop paradigm shifting programs for support.
“More important, all national needs for financial support from the GCF has to be compiled in a document called the country program document which must go through a transparent and inclusive consultative process,” he added.
The GCF liaises with individual countries through a nominated national institution known as the National Designated Authority (NDA).
In Liberia, the EPA is the nominated NDA for government.
The GCF’ Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme (Readiness Programme) supports country-driven initiatives by developing countries to strengthen their institutional capacities, governance mechanisms, and planning and programming frameworks towards a transformational long-term climate action agenda.
Mr. Sokan indicated that the Readiness Programme provides grants and technical assistance to NDAs and focal points.
Readiness funding can also be deployed to strengthen Direct Access Entities.
He explained that the objective is to enhance the capacity of national institutions to efficiently engage with GCF while dedicated readiness funding may also assist countries in undertaking adaptation planning and developing strategic frameworks to build their programming with GCF.
Mr. Sokan noted that the NDA, as part of its mandate, is expected to elaborate a country programme for Liberia.
He disclosed that the country programme will be the cornerstone of Liberia’s pipeline development with the GCF.
“It is the first stage of the GCF’s updated project and program cycle and forms the basis for prioritizing the further development of funding proposals for projects and programs submitted by the GCF’s Accredited Entities on behalf of Liberia,” Mr. Sokan added.
He disclosed that in observance of national health protocols on COVID-19, the meeting would be a virtual engagement held via Zoom on Friday and Saturday, July 10-11, 2020 beginning at 10:00AM GMT on the following link: https://zoom.us/j/5600074891 / Meeting ID: 560 007 4891.
The first consultative meeting is expected to attract stakeholders, particularly government institutions, entities accredited by GCF operating in Liberia and the private sector. Stakeholder’s inputs would be incorporated in the document.