Liberia set to concede 10% of its territory to Emirati company for carbon credit production


Liberia is preparing to grant the exclusive rights of over 1 million hectares of forest, about 10% of the country’s land area, to a private Emirati company that will be tasked with marketing the carbon credits obtained from conservation or reforestation projects. A memorandum of understanding between the Liberian Ministry of Finance and the company, Blue Carbon LLC, was concluded in March, and the final contract, set to last for 30 years, is said to be in the process of being signed.

Blue Carbon LLC, which is also in talks with Zambia and Tanzania, was set up less than a year ago by Sheikh Ahmed Dalmook Al Maktoum, a member of the ruling family in Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The oil-rich emirates will be the controversial host of the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) at the end of November.

According to a confidential and still preliminary version of the contract that Le Monde had access to, the parties plan to use this global event to make public an agreement between the Liberian and the UAE governments concerning the transfer of pollution rights, as provided for in the Paris Climate Agreement. This will enable countries to meet the targets to which they have committed, in order to limit the average rise in global temperatures to less than 2°C, or even 1.5°C.

Deep concerns

This announcement is probably intended to convince observers of the United Arab Emirates’ willingness to invest more in the energy transition. This is because the commitments it’s made to date are deemed largely insufficient, even “unrealistic,” given the plans to increase fossil fuel production, according to a study published on Thursday, July 20, by Climate Action Tracker.


However, this secretly negotiated contract is raising serious concerns in Liberia. Several civil society organizations have expressed alarm at the possible violation of the rights of the populations living in the nine territories targeted by the project. Less than 400,000 hectares of the million hectares targeted are classified as protected areas. The remainder is made up of land under different ownership regimes, all of which, according to the contract, are intended for conservation.


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