The first of the four workshops of the Business Knowledge Platform (BKP) of the Lebanon Climate Act
took place on October 4, 2016 at the Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Industry of Beirut and Mount Lebanon which aimed at informing private companies on how to determine their level of engagement according to their priorities, current activities and available resources. This was done by deepening their knowledge on what is climate change, how can climate change be a strategic business opportunity, how to incorporate climate action into their business agenda, and how to assess their carbon footprint.
To access the materials of the workshop, click here
, and to take a look at the future workshops and their objectives, click here
Through the landmark climate deal that was reached and adopted in Paris in December 2015 by over 190 countries, the global economy has received a signal that a thriving clean economy is inevitable, irreversible and irresistible. The agreement aims at holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C without ruling out further efforts to hold that increase at no more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. This entails a series of national actions that will lead to a global peaking followed by a rapid greenhouse gas emission reduction. This is a clear demonstration towards a collective intent to phase out fossil fuel driven development and a start of a transition that has the potential to change every aspect of everyone’s life. This universal agreement is therefore unprecedented in its scope where the global community is acting in unison and agreeing to do so for decades to come.
The Paris Agreement will eventually reshape Lebanon’s economy, its development path, and value chain for companies across the country; and since businesses are the key drivers of the national economy, the Paris Agreement provides them opportunities to innovate and compete, and therefore grow. While the government of Lebanon, through the submission of its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, has publicly outlined what climate actions it intends to take under the new international agreement by 2030, and has set a target of 15% CO2 emissions reduction as an unconditional target and committed to reduce 30% of its CO2 emissions conditional to finance, technical support and capacity building; the private sector is for the first time recognized as an integral part of the global solution to address climate change with a clear policy signal for businesses to make low emission or emission-neutral investments, whether through financing projects or investing within their own boundaries or value chains. This in turn will create new products and services, generate jobs, reduce energy consumption, and realize cost savings.
With this at the backdrop, the Lebanon Climate Act was initiated. It aims at creating economic growth in a way that also creates value for the society by addressing climate change challenges in Lebanon. Lebanon Climate Act establishes a network of companies and institutions actively engaged in the fight for climate change. It also helps to catalyze the involvement of the private sector in the wider climate change community. It provides a space for businesses to showcase and support climate action, through concrete initiatives and multi-stakeholder approaches and thus, contribute in a sustainable and profitable manner to a strong and effective response to climate change.
By joining the Lebanon Climate Act, companies will demonstrate their ongoing engagement to climate action; each company will set actions to reduce its environmental and carbon footprint, increase low-carbon investments, deploy cleaner energy, and build more sustainable businesses and communities to tackle climate change.
Lebanon Climate Act is also an opportunity to establish solid partnerships between leading business organizations who are showing headship in acting on climate change (Energy, Water, Transport, Waste and Forestry and/or Agriculture), and willing to commit to one or more innovative and practical climate initiatives to scale low-carbon solutions and increase the adaptive capacity of the Lebanese economy, and active Non-Governmental Organizations who have planned important climate endeavors and are in need of concrete support from one or more business organizations from the public sector to implement their showcased projects.
The initiative is led by the Green Mind, in partnership with the UNDP and the Central Bank and was officially launched on Saturday June 18, 2016 at the Saint-Joseph University with a “power panel” made up of the Central Bank governor, the CEO of Renault-Nissan Alliance, UNDP’s country director and the president of the Green Mind. The role that UNDP will play in this initiative is through the establishment of the Business Knowledge Platform which aims at enabling businesses to design and implement activities to reduce impacts on climate change and capturing success stories to inspire others. Carefully laid out through quarterly scheduled sessions over an entire year, the UNDP, through its Business Knowledge Platform, will help companies determine their level of engagement according to their priorities, current activities, and available resources to generate climate-related activities and finally to share experiences and achievements.