Climate Change Lebanon
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Issue 33 - March 2015

Everyone has already felt from the media coverage and global buzz that this is the climate year. Here’s what’s happening: since the Kyoto Protocol ends in 2020, a new climate change agreement will be decided upon in Paris this December to come into effect in 2020. Imagine over 195 nations agreeing on one document which will allegedly prevent the worst impacts of climate change from taking place. What is even more challenging, as part of this process, an Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) has to be submitted by every country, and will state how much every country is willing to contribute to the mitigation of climate change by reducing national greenhouse gas emissions. This is pretty exciting and an unprecedented global effort and Lebanon is motivationally starting the process! This national procedure will enlighten policy makers and the public alike on the opportunities available to mitigate and adapt to climate change while ensuring sustainable development. Click here for more info on INDCs in general.

Several institutions in the country are working very hard to mainstream renewable energy into policies, into national projects and at the household levels. A study has been released titled “Fossil Fuels Subsidies in Lebanon: Fiscal, Equity, Economic and Environmental Impacts” and actually represents an argument to gradually shift to renewable energy sources. This study first measures the scale of fuel subsidies in Lebanon and  found that these contain significant fiscal ramifications, with an estimated USD 3.1 billion in fuel subsidies for the year 2013, constituting 7% of Lebanon’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) which is a very large percentage. The study then proposes a phase-out roadmap over a 10-year period for both the electricity and transport sectors. Results convey that if the phasing-out had occurred in 2013, it would have led to a reduction of the fiscal deficit from 9.4% of GDP to 3.8% of GDP. This will encourage investment in renewable energy sources since the price of fossil fuel will increase with the absence of the subsidy, in parallel to forecasted global fuel price hikes, and reduction in renewable energy technology prices. Click here for the study. 

Climate Refugee
People who must leave their homes because of the negative impacts of climate change
19 March, 2015

Vulnerability and Adaptation of Climate Change @ Crowne Plaza


The number of people in Kivalina, Alaska who will have to relocate because of thinning ice (Yahoo News)
Pack up the drills and close the mines!

To limit carbon dioxide emissions to the 2°C increase in the global temperature average, it seems that “80%, 50% and 30% of coal, gas and oil reserves, respectively, would need to remain below Earth’s surface”. But taking into account the importance of energy and resources in economic development, how can countries get convinced to divest from fossil fuel and invest in clean energies? Here comes in the role of fair, realistic and progressive climate agreements. Click here for the article.

6,000 good choices

Jordan has decided to install photovoltaic systems on 6,000 mosques! This endeavor is in line with Jordan’s Ministry of Energy’s announcement that “renewable energy projects with a total capacity of 1,800 megawatts will be connected to the national power grid by the end of 2018”. Jordan is aiming to have 10% renewable energy in their energy mix. Lebanon is aiming for 12%, who will get there faster? Click here for the article.

The recent storm has made us all question how ready we are for extreme events. In order to avoid loss of assets and livelihoods, there is a big need to start long-term adaptation activities. 
© 2015 Ministry of Environment