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Challenges to implementing the UNFCCC Paris Agreement through Redd+ in Liberia: A critical analysis

Conway, Harry 2022. Challenges to implementing the UNFCCC Paris Agreement through Redd+ in Liberia: A critical analysis. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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This study examines the challenges poor countries face in implementing global climate change mitigation policies. It draws on Article 5 of the UNFCCC Paris Agreement 2015 as the entry point. This Article introduces a market-based concept, the REDD+, which seeks to reduce CO2 emissions by providing payments for the carbon stored in tropical forests. The implementation challenges the REDD+ faces in Liberia are explored within the context of a dominant global capitalist economy. The Liberia REDD+ ‘Readiness’ Project is the case study. The study highlights the impediments countries like Liberia confronts to keep the forest standing amid difficult national circumstances, especially taking into account the country’s colonial legacy that makes it dependent on the global economy. In this dominant global capitalist economy, profit maximization is the priority for businesses. Thus, while the REDD+ seeks to keep the trees standing, the businesses seek to make profit from trade in timbers from the forest. This exemplifies the contradiction within the dominant global neoliberal economic policy environment that underpins the capitalist economy - market-based solutions attempting to solve market-created problems. It shows the dilemma the world faces in tackling the global climate crisis. The study contends that the REDD+ problem-solving approach to the climate crisis is apolitical and technical. It largely ignores the link between deforestation in Liberia and the global economy. In contrast, I adopt a critical approach that situates the challenges to REDD+ in Liberia within a broader international context while historicizing the challenges. I bring into sharp focus Liberia’s colonial legacy through the political, economic, social and structural challenges to REDD+. I argue that the problem of deforestation in places like Liberia is underpinned by the country’s colonial legacy, and imbedded into the dominant global capitalist economy. Therefore, any solution to address the climate crisis has to take into consideration the global context and Liberia’s colonial past.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Law
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Uncontrolled Keywords: Africanist narrative, Tubmanism, Liberia social order, Neopatrimonialism, American colonialism, REDD+, UNFCCC Paris Agreement
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 26 January 2023
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2023 10:20

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