United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
During the last few Conference of the Parties, Lebanon has been one of the few developing countries that vocally advocated for low emission economies
In response to the emerging evidence that climate change could have a major global impact, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted in 1992 in Rio de Janeiro.
The ultimate objective of the Convention is the stabilization of greenhouse (GHG) gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous human-induced interference with the climate system. The Convention recognizes that developed countries
are responsible for the largest share of historical and current global emissions of GHGs and hence, should take the lead in combating climate change.
The Convention also recognizes that developing countries
are vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change, and that their responses to climate change should be coordinated with their social and economic development needs for the achievement of sustained economic growth and the eradication of poverty.
Kyoto Protocol to Paris Agreement
Recognizing early the need for an effective instrument to provide confidence in addressing the climate change challenge, the Kyoto Protocol was established in 1997 as a legal instrument where future action can be intensified. For the first time, it calls for legally binding commitments from the developed countries to reduce, individually or jointly, emissions of six GHGs (CO2
O, HFC, PFC and SF6
) by more than 5% in the period 2008 to 2012, below their 1990 level. The European Union (EU) and its Member States at the time agreed to an 8% reduction.
During the second commitment period, Parties committed to reduce GHG emissions by at least 18% percent below 1990 levels from 2013 to 2020; however, this amendment has (as of November 2013) not entered into legal force.
After the Durban Conference of Parties meeting in 2011, a new legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention and applicable to all Parties was prepared and agreed upon in the COP21 as the Paris Agreement (PA).
Prior to the PA, 188 Parties including Lebanon submitted their climate change adaptation and mitigation plans in the form of Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), which present a low-emission roadmap till 2030. PA was adopted in December 2015, and the official signing took place in April 2016.
195 countries agreed to the PA, that will come into effect and be implemented by 2020. The aim is to keep the average global temperature increase "well below" 2°C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. The key points of the agreement include peaking the greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, to be reduced rapidly in the second half of the century. A review progress every five years is put into place, and USD 100 billion a year will be financed to developing countries by 2020, in addition to further climate financing in the future.
Climate Change and Lebanon
The Republic of Lebanon ratified the UNFCCC in 1994 with Law No. 359 as a Non-Annex I Party. The Kyoto Protocol was ratified by in 2006 with Law No. 738. Lebanon signed the Paris Agreement in April 2016.
The Ministry of Environment (MoE) is the focal point to the UNFCCC and the Lebanese delegation has been participating in international climate change talks since 2006.