By Lincoln G. Peters
Climate-polluting countries have angered Liberian Senate President Pro-tempore Albert T. Chie because they are not living up to their financial commitments made during negotiations.
Delivering a statement at the final segment of the 5th session of the 54th Legislature Thursday, 8 December 2022, Chie said he was displeased at polluting countries’ failure to settle smaller countries what they have been promised.
He said these financial commitments are made usually during negotiations at the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Convention on Climate Change.
“I had the opportunities to participate in the negotiation of the Framework Convention on Climate Change and for the Conventions on Desertification and Biodiversity,” Chie explained.
The Grand Kru County Senator lamented that monies promised by polluting countries remain largely elusive.
He said he followed the conference proceedings and negotiation while he was in the Executive Branch of government.
“I also represented our country at the first Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention (COP 1) held in Berlin, Germany,” he noted.
After all of those negotiations and conventions, Chie said nothing has changed since COP 27, and many other climate change conferences held earlier.
He argued that climate change is a serious matter.
“I can confirm that nothing much has changed in the negotiation. The polluting countries must continue to pollute without a firm commitment to reduce emissions,” he lamented.
He said these promises were made to small, poor, and developing countries to control climate change under the joint implementation program.
Senator Chie expressed dismay over the reported failure of polluting countries to settle smaller countries as they have promised.
However, Senator Chie congratulated President George Manneh Weah and other members of the Liberian Government, and civil society organizations who participated in the recent 27th Conference of the Parties (COP 27) in Egypt.
Pro-tempore Chie suggested that small countries with forests must conserve their forests to act as reservoirs to absorb the emission from the atmosphere.
Also, he said monies promised by the polluting countries to vulnerable ones like the island nations, and poor developing countries under the ‘joint implementation program’ which has changed name several times, remain largely elusive.
Chie explained that it’s December and Liberia still experiencing rain because of the impact of climate change.
The Pro-tempore noted that the rain is having a heavy toll on Liberia’s laterite roads throughout the country and disrupting the farming season.
He said this is also leading to untold suffering of the people, adding that negotiators for affected countries have to be resilient and demand quality.
Throwing light on the infrastructure sector of Liberia, Senator Chie said road rehabilitation, connectivity, and pavement continue to pose significant challenges despite the efforts of the government.
He said the Lofa road and the two principal road corridors leading to Southeast Liberia remain impassable during the rainy season.
“We also note the government’s efforts to fund the paving of the road segment between Ganta and Sacleapea,” he added.
He noted the commitment of donor partners to provide funding for the pavement of the roads from Saclepea through Grand Gedeh to Rivergee.
He also cited that road from Barclayville in Grand Kru to Sinoe County.
“We urge the Ministry of Public Works to speed up the procurement processes so that actual construction work on these road segments can begin in earnest,’’ he concluded. –Edited by Winston W. Parley