Waste Crisis in Lebanon

Solid waste management in Lebanon has been hogging limelight globally in recent years. Unfortunately, Lebanon is struggling to solve the waste crisis with no permanent solution in sight.  The organic content in Lebanese MSW is around 50-55% which makes it a well-suited for composting and anaerobic digestion. Recyclables content is also good, though recycling is in early stages and mostly practiced by the informal sector.

In Lebanon, the predominant waste management method is dumping. Municipal waste is dumped; industrial waste is either burned or sold. Hazardous waste, such as healthcare wastes and used batteries are treated unscientifically and there are hardly any laws or regulation to regulate and handle them.

Regulatory Issues

The Lebanese waste management laws are confusing since there is no identified clear body to handle waste management although they gave the responsibility of solid waste management to municipalities in Decree 8735 of 1974 and incentives to do so in Decree 9093 of 2002.  In the Environmental Protection Act numbered 444/2002, regulations for solid waste management, SWM, were defined.

The environmental law 444 had defined some regulation concerning SWM. Some listed waste types can be sold, stored, used or transported on Lebanese territory but hazardous waste cannot be. It specified the dumpsite characteristics, the system to be developed by Ministry of Environment, and the conditions to import sub-waste products. It divided Lebanon into four areas: the Bekaa Valley and Baalbek, Beirut and Mount Lebanon, northern Lebanon and Akkar, southern Lebanon and Nabatiyeh. The problem was obvious in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.

State of the Affairs

The solid waste of Beirut and Mount Lebanon used to be transferred to Naameh Landfill. Sukleen, a subsidiary of Averda, is responsible for collecting, sorting, composting and landfilling 2800 tons per day of municipal waste from Beirut and Mount Lebanon except for Jbeil district and some villages. It collects 89% of the Lebanese solid waste. This private company was contracted in 1998 under an emergency plan. The contract was renewed in 2001 to June 16, 2015.

People closed it on June 17, 2015, since it was emitting bad odors that annoyed the villagers nearby and because they correlated the landfill presence to the increase in cancer incidence among them.  People did a previous demonstration in January 2015 they asked to close it since it has reached its capacity.

Emergence of a Big Crisis

After the closing in June 2015, waste accumulated on the streets. Politicians started trying to solve the problem. One of the proposed solutions was to ship waste outside Lebanon to Africa Holland and Russia.  Environmental activists and academics proposed an “alternative solid waste management plan” on September 29, 2016, to treat the accumulated waste on streets but the government did not take into consideration.  Some suggest adopting waste to energy technology, which will solve problems in Lebanon; it will decrease the amount needed for dumping by 90%. And it will help in generating electricity for a sector that deficiency. Some say if it is done properly, the incineration will not cause problems. Other says it will emit dioxins and furans which causes cancer. Many other solutions were suggested but the government went with landfilling solution.

Preliminary studies estimates that the cost of processing the current landfills scattered in many areas of the mountain and coastline may reach 600 million US dollars and that Lebanon needs to at least two hundred million US dollars approximately every three years if they were adopted treatment plans through landfills promoted. These landfills are not divided between areas for balanced development; they are distributing contamination all over Lebanon.

Temporary Resolution

The crisis was solved in an unsustainable way in March 2016, after 8 months, when the government reopened the Naameh landfill for two months. The Council of Ministers Resolution No. 1 Date 01/12/2015 defined that the areas chosen are degraded sites that need rehabilitation; for example quarries and/or random dumpsites. For four years, waste will be dumped in two temporary sites in Bourj Hammoud and Costa Brava.  This contradicts with Barcelona convention that Lebanon signed since the Costa Brava is a coastal area. Last year, gull birds gathered near the Costa Brava site, which falls near the airport; they shot the birds. This is against Barcelona convention. So double environmental crime.

Sorry state of the affairs in Lebanon

The government also gave incentives for municipalities who handle its waste. This solution ignored an important component, which is raising awareness on sorting from source, and on the 3Rs. Unfortunately, none was held accountable for the crisis. The solution is sorting from source. Landfilling is not a proper solution due to space limit and due to the flat geographical nature of nature, which make it unable to protect groundwater from any contamination; incineration is cancerous. It is time to adopt sustainable solution that protects our planet and our health.

The Way Forward

Below are few basic steps that may be considered to resolve the waste crisis in Lebanon

  1. Ban the use of plastic bags.
  2. Raising mass awareness about 3Rs of waste management – reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  3. Sorting garbage at source and recycling should be obligatory by law.
  4. Compost organic matter and recycle waste on a national level.
  5. Adopting colors bags and barrels technique.
  6. Law 444 should be reviewed and updated.
  7. Specify who is in charge
  8. Adopt a national plan for SWM
  9. More power to Ministry of Environment in waste management.
  10. Apply the part of law 444 where municipalities are in charge of collecting and transporting waste and give attractive incentives.


This article was first published on the following website https://www.cleantechloops.com/waste-crisis-in-lebanon/


Waste Management Coalition

The solid waste crisis in Lebanon got an international media coverage and still no policy has been issued to reduce waste from source. Over the two past years, the solid waste crisis went uncontrolled and still no concrete solution adopted.

On December 1, 2017,  Human Rights Watch (HRW)’s released a report and video criticizing the waste crisis’ health impacts. It mainly concentrated on the effects of burning waste in open dumpsites which occurs in some Lebanese villages and which was a public act during the waste crisis.

Waste Management Coalition launched after two weeks of the report on December 14, 2017.It is an initiative by civil society to put a pressure on policy makers that are responsible management of solid waste in Lebanon to have an integrated solid waste management.

The current temporary (emergency plan) solution adopted by the Lebanese government on March 2016 a did not try to increase the recycling capacity or have the sorting from source idea. There was no holistic approach to the crisis. All what they did is finding other dumping sites in Costa Brava, a coastal area, and in Bourj Hammoud. Currently, the authorities are still debating their decision of expanding the two coastal landfills that were part of emergency plan to end the solid waste crisis in the country.

And unfortunately, some people in power are pushing for incineration which is hazardous to health and affect air pollution.

The coalition won’t be only a pressuring group. They will work to provide adequate solutions through the different working groups under the coalition: communication, marketing, legal, on ground activism, and policy influencing and funding work group

The groups participating in the coalition are several civil society groups and NGOs: Beirut Madinati, Greenpeace, Green Area, Cedar Environmental, Recycle Lebanon, AUB Nature Conservation Center, TERRE Liban, Sohet Wladna Khatt Ahmar (Our Kids’ Health is a Red Line), Muntada Insan, and Badna Nhaseb ( We want Accountability).To find more, kindly check https://www.wmclebanon.org

The people in charge of solid waste management in Lebanon are assuring the public that there won’t be another trash crisis and that civil society should not to alarm them. Activists do believe that this emergency plan has a close end and if there was no holistic approach and sustainable strategy to solve the problem, the Lebanese citizens will pay the price from their health. The solutions proposed are not environmentally sound and we can save our nature and ourselves if we just start by sorting from source, recycling composting and other simple things implemented by various countries months ago. There should be long term sustainable waste management solution that respects citizen’s right to healthy life and a safe environment.

Press release on the launching of the Arab Youth Network for Sustainable Development (AYSDN)

The Arab Youth Network for Sustainable Development (AYSDN), which includes a group of youth leaders from the Middle East and North Africa, announced on Monday, January  1st , 2018, that the youth leadership role will be strengthened in light of the current circumstances that require us to create a more effective youth system. Enhancing efforts to involve Arab youth in achieving the goals of sustainable development and creating a relationship of exchanging experiences and qualitative partnerships in this field and devising effective ideas and solutions that enhance the participation of young people and contribute to enhancing their leading role in community development.

In a press statement, the head of the network, Eng. Tareq Hassan, said that the Arab Youth Network for Sustainable Development (AYSDN) is a unique addition to the involvement of young people and to motivate them to move forward towards effective participation in achieving the goals of sustainable development of the United Nations 2030.”

Hassan pointed out that the idea comes within the framework of the international vision of the importance of empowering young people in the field of sustainable development to re-position them and activate their role in decision-making in order to create a greater influence for them in shaping the future of the region and creating cooperation and coordination to achieve comprehensive development.

“Arab youth are a key element in reform, change and pushing societies towards development. Arab youth are capable of taking responsibility, capable of development and reform if given the opportunity, the means and the necessary and main means,” he said. “Our youth can only remain in a tight, Facebook and other social networking sites, but it has to blow its energies out of the walls of virtual sites to say it with all its might. Young educated people are the foundation of the nation, hope and the future, the shining torch in which we see our future.

On the other hand, Eng. Yousef Hamdi Al Awawdeh  A secretary General of the Network said that the network will work on creating an integrated youth system that supports young leaders in achieving sustainable development goals and highlighting their abilities and abilities in a professional manner that contributes to enhancing their leading role in community development.

He stressed that the network seeks to establish a unified and multi-tributary platform to achieve effective investment of youth energies and to use them in a constructive manner to contribute to bridges of cooperation and exchange of experiences for a stimulating and supportive environment for youth contributing to their active participation in achieving the goals of sustainable development of the United Nations 2030

He called on young people in the Middle East and North Africa to participate in the network and to make positive and constructive change in the knowledge structure of youth to activate their role in the development of sustainable development.


خبر صحفي حول اطلاق شبكة الشباب العربي للتنمية المستدامة (AYSDN)



اعلن اليوم الأثنين  الموافق 1 يناير  2018 عن اطلاق شبكة الشباب العربي للتنمية المستدامة (AYSDN)والتي تضم مجموعة من القيادات الشبابية  من الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا و تسعى الى تعزيز الدور الريادي للشباب في ضوء ما تفتضيه الظروف الراهنة التي تتطلب منا إيجاد منظومة شبابية اكثر فاعلية تساهم فى تعزيز جهود أشراك الشباب العربي في تحقيق أهداف التنمية المستدامة وخلق علاقة تبادل تجارب وخبرات وشراكات نوعية في هذا المجال واستنباط أفكار وحلول ناجعة تعزز من مشاركة الشباب  وبما يساهم في الارتقاء بدورهم الرائد في تنمية المجتمعات.

وفي تصريح صحفي قال رئيس الشبكة المهندس طارق حسان ان شبكة الشباب العربي للتنمية المستدامة (AYSDN) تمثل إضافة نوعية ومتميزة في أشراك الشباب وتحفيزهم للمضي قدماً نحو المشاركة الفاعلة فى تحقيق أهداف التنمية المستدامة للأمم المتحدة 2030.

  وأشار حسان الي ان الفكرة تاتي في  اطار الرؤي الدولية بأهمية تمكين الشباب في مجال التنمية المستدامة  لإعادة تموضعهم وتفعيل دورهم فى صنع القرار ، وتحقيق تأثير أكبر لهم في تشكيل مستقبل المنطقة وخلق التعاون والتنسيق من اجل صنع التنمية الشاملة .

وأضاف حسان ان الشباب العربي يمثل ركيزة أساسية فى الإصلاح والتغير والدفع بالمجتمعات نحو التنمية ، لافتاً الى ان الشباب العربي قادر على تحمل المسؤولية، وصنع التنمية والإصلاح في حال  أعطيت له الفرصة والإمكانات والوسائل الضرورية والرئيسية، قائلا : انه لا يمكن لشبابنا البقاء فقط في حيز ضيق مسدود غير منفتح وافتراضي كـ«فيسبوك» ومواقع التواصل الاجتماعي الأخرى، وإنما عليه أن يفجر طاقاته خارج جدران المواقع الافتراضية ليقول كلمته بكل قوة، فالشباب الواعي المثقف عماد الأمة، وهم الأمل والمستقبل، وهم الشعلة المضيئة التي نرى بها مستقبلنا.

من ناحية اخرى قال المهندس يوسف حمدي العواودة الأمين العام للشبكة  ان الشبكة ستعمل علي ايجاد منظومة شبابية متكاملة تدعم القادة الشباب في تحقيق أهداف التنمية المستدامة  وتبرز طاقاتهم وقدراتهم بأسلوب احترافي يساهم في تعزيز دورهم الريادي في تنمية المجتمعات.

واكد ان الشبكة  تسعى إلى تأسيس أرضية موحدة ومتعددة الروافد فى تحقيق استثمار فاعل لطاقات الشباب ، وتوظيفها بشكل بناءا للمساهمة في دعم جسور التعاون وتبادل الخبرات من أجل بيئة محفزة وداعمة للشباب تساهم في مشاركتهم الفاعلة في تحقيق أهداف التنمية المستدامة للأمم المتحدة 2030

ودعا العواودة الشباب في الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا الي المشاركة في الشبكة وإحداث التغير الإيجابي والبناء في البنية المعرفية للشباب لتفعيل دورهم التنموي في تحقيق التنمية المستدام.



Rising Currents Strong Movements

I would like to share with you the website and the magazine where “my’ Environemtal short story was published.
Thank you Sally Souraya for your time, efforts and interest in my activism. I never expected in my life that someone will write my story in such an amazing style.




“I am an extraordinary climate activist”. This is how Nouhad Awwad introduces herself to the public on her website, flagging up a journey she is proudly leading in the field of environment and climate change since 2013 in Lebanon, the Arab region and around the world.

The seeds of this journey grew up gradually with her, in the way Nouhad was raised by her mother. As a kid, she was taught to keep her environment clean. “It started purely as a religious way of living with and respecting nature, but then it turned to become a strong passion to environment”. By the age of fourteen, Nouhad started joining initiatives to clean the beach. Since then, she incorporated environment in all aspects of her life and advocated for it using different means: from blogging about nature to developing small initiatives and delivering trainings on solid waste, etc. Whilst her parents wanted her to be a medical doctor, Nouhad confidently knew that environment was her meant-to-be path. She refused to attend the medics’ exams and stood up for her choice, “I told them, this is not me! This is not my life! I want to study environment”. With this firm determination, she studied BSc. in environmental health and a master’s degree in Environmental Sciences with a focus on environmental policy planning.

As an activist, Nouhad is part of the Arab Youth Climate Movement and The Mediterranean Youth Network. She was part of the Lebanese official delegation to COP21 and COP22. In 2017, she has been elected as YOUNGO focal point to empower youth to have a voice at UNFCCC and promote youth participation in local and national climate change projects.

By becoming part of a bigger global movements on climate change, Nouhad did not lose her focus on the environmental issues faced in her country. She is confident that her participation in big global conferences and events, as a representative of Arab youth, is ultimately paying off. She is investing all the knowledge and skills she gains in pushing for better environmental policies in Lebanon. Nouhad’s participation at local and international level intertwines and complements one another. She is aware of the importance to keep a balanced contribution to the local, regional and international levels. Nouhad is currently working on numerous grassroots campaigns for climate justice issues in Lebanon. She develops various local initiatives to serve protecting the environment and safeguarding a sustainable future.

Whilst only a few women in the MENA region are climate activists, Nouhad believes that this does not necessarily reflect a lack of interest from the women themselves, but more a mentality and pattern, where women continuously face pressure to tick some boxes made for them. It is how they are unfortunately raised and repeatedly reminded to fulfill certain expectations: “Women here are expected to be married and have children”. This is what Nouhad and other women keep facing in their society. She is often asked endless questions such as “Until when are you going to do this? Time will pass and you will start to realise that your choices were wrong. Get married! Get a stable job! What is the benefit of being a climate activist? You are wasting your time. No one is going to listen. Nothing will change. Decisions are in the hands of big people!”. The list of questions goes on, and Nouhad’s perseverance too: it goes on and on and on. Nouhad believes “Climate activism is like a snowball, which will grow with time. Our small work today will be that big ball down the hill one day”.

As a young Lebanese woman wearing Hijab, none of these aspects of her identity seemed to be an obstacle to her journey, or at least she does not let them. She considers her identity as part of her journey as an advocate. She tries to break the stereotype about Middle East, where women are often seen to be passive and not empowered enough to drive or contribute to the changes needed in their communities. Wherever she is, whether speaking on an international panel, or writing on her online platforms, Nouhad speaks up for what does not seem to be obvious and clear for the global community: “We, young women in the Middle East, care for the environment. We are determined to be active and drive change”.

On the other hand, Nouhad’s message to women in the Middle East, who might not be aware of how much they could contribute to protect the environment they live in: “You are not expected to be climate activists, joining initiatives to clean the beach or going on marches to advocate for policy changes, to be contributing to environmental movements! By raising your children to be environmentally oriented, you will be doing a great favour to the environment. Start from there and do simple things such as turning off the lights when they are not needed, using less plastics, etc. Small easy steps can be done and they all count”. Nouhad believes that what we are missing nowadays is “the feeling” of being aware, connected and united with nature. “We are made of nature. We are part of it. Everybody is born as a nature’s advocate and we work on returning to this by real doings. If we believe in this, everything will change”.

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My Date with COP23

COP23 was held in Bonn, Germany at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) headquarters. COP23 was my third consecutive conference and I was on a party badge in COP21 and COP22. This time I was an observer and YOUNGO (youth representative) focal point for 2017. Every COP is different, and each has its own challenges and opportunities.

Meeting other youth from around the world all working to bring solutions to address climate change was a lifetime experience, not to mention reconnecting with old friends and being introduce to experienced negotiators, ministers, researchers, UN employees, professors and Climate Change specialists.

There were four people who, upon meeting them, I felt there was a turning point for me at COP23. First was the President of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Laják, who I was able to meet with for 30 minutes in which we discussed climate change, migration, water shortage, sustainable development goals, and peace. I also held a meeting with the Deputy Minister of the Environment in Iraq on youth engagement in the policy process, which was a major highlight for me.

Ambassador Deo Saran and Ms. Ashwini Prabha have been supportive to civil society in their climate actions and their work to engage more youth. I first met them at the Climate Chance in Agadir and was able to reconnect with them both at COP23.

Perhaps most impressive was my opportunity to meet Her Excellency Patricia Espinoza several times. I was inspired in hearing Mrs. Espinoza speak during the open session dialogue where she stated that, “we must start setting an example for people around the world,” and that “youth must take power and we can make a difference.”

COP23 had many high-level meetings, interventions, workshops, seminars, and various interactions that ensured my experience there was informative and impressionable.

This year, the first ever Party and Observers Stakeholders Dialogue happened at COP23. I was glad to see governments working with the COP23 Presidency to create a space where observers and governments can sit together at one table in the inclusive and transparent spirit of the Paris Agreement.

After three years it is very obvious to me that the current actions on ground are not enough to halt Climate Change. We must have policies in place that lower our contribution to climate change and reverse the effects. I believe it is possible, especially when societies commit to being carbon neutral and work together towards a more sustainable future.

 This article appeared first on Cleantech solutions https://www.cleantechloops.com/date-with-cop23/

إشراك الشباب في العمل التطوعي البيئي

تطالعنا الصحف يوميا بأخبار عن التدهور البيئي في مختلف المناطق اللبنانية. المشاكل البيئية تطال جميع الأمور الحياتية من النفايات الى مياه الشرب ومياه الصرف الصحي الى الهواء والصحة وغيره. معالجة هذه المشكلات يتطلب حلولا جذرية ومستدامة لان الحلول التقنية  الموجودة تعالج النتائج وليس الأسباب.حماية البيئة والحفاظ عليها وعلى استدامة مواردها يأتي في المرتبة الأولى للحفاظ على المجتمع  والمفتاح لتحقيق الاستدامة والحفاظ على سلامة البيئة يكون في تفعيل دور الشباب في المشاركة في حماية البيئة.

شباب اليوم هم بناة المستقبل لذا يجب أن يتسلحوا بالوعي البيئي اللازم ليقوموا بدورهم الريادي. ويقع علي عاتق الشباب مسؤولية حماية البيئة ومعالجة مشاكلها.  ففئة الشباب تعتبر أهم عنصر في عملية التنمية الاجتماعية والاقتصادية الشاملة التي تحتاجها مجتمعاتنا العربية والتي تصنف كمجتمعات شابة حيث تبلغ نسبة الشباب (بين عمر ١٨-٢٩)  حوالي ٣٠٪ من عدد السكان. وبما ان الشباب هو منظومة عطاء مع آمال كبيرة لمستقبل أفضل فإن إشراكهم يساعد على خلق فرص وابتكارات لمعالجة القضايا البيئية.

 هناك علاقة قوية بين العمل التطوعي والبيئة.  فالشباب طاقة واندفاع إذا ما استثمر أدى إلى ازدياد التدهور البيئي اكثر واكثر،  وأما اعطائهم الدور اللازم يساهم في البناء السياسي والاجتماعي والاقتصادي ويقوي دعائم الاستدامة البيئية إن إشراك الشباب لا يكون فقط في فسح المجال للمجتمع المدني بالمشاركة في الحياة السياسية. لكنه أيضا هو عملية توعية تبدأ من المدرسة ولا تنتهي بالجامعة بل تتعداها إلى المعاهد والأحياء الشعبية. تدريب الاطفال على المفاهيم البيئية وأهداف التنمية المستدامة يمهد لجيل واع ينخرط في الحياة السياسية البيئة. كما يفضل ان يكون تدريب الأطفال عبر نشاطات جذابة ومتنوعة مبنية على أسس علمية  وأفكار تنفيذية ابداعية ومواكبة لتكنولوجيا الطاقة المتجددة بعيدا عن النمطية السائدة من زرع الأشجار وفرز النفايات.

أن دور الشباب الأساسي يكمن في التوعية .يستطيع الشباب حماية البيئة عبر القيام بحملات توعية عبر وسائل الإعلام ووسائل التواصل الاجتماعي. كما يمكنهم زيادة الثقافة البيئية من خلال إجراء البحوث والمشروعات البيئة العلمية وتحويل هذه البحوث إلى  مبادرات على صعيد محلي ووطني. للشباب قدرة إبداعية على  استخدام التكنولوجيات لخلق مواد  محببة توزع عبر البروشورات وعبر الانترنت. كما أن الشباب المتعلم والمتدرب يقع عليه مسؤولية التصرف كقدوة لنقل ما تعلمه للآخرين عبر  تطبيق العلم على أرض الواقع والحفاظ على البيئة. ونقل هذه التصرفات والسلوكيات يساهم في إحداث التغيير المنشود. يستطيع الشباب القيام بخطوات متعددة عبر المساهمة في إلقاء المحاضرات التوعوية والتعريف بكيفية الحفاظ على البيئة  وعبر إنشاء مجموعات شبابية للتأثير في الشباب الآخرين وتلاميذ المدارس.

  أنشأت  وزارة الشؤون الاجتماعية بتمويل من البنك الدولي ٢٠١٢  البرنامج الوطني للتطوّع، كجزء من استراتيجيتها لتمكين الشباب وتعزيز الخدمة الوطنية التطوعية. يحتوي البرنامج على توصيات رائعة تحث على تعاون القطاع الخاص والعام. توصيات اذا ما طبقت تسهم في تنمية التطوع في جميع المجالات مما يؤسس لجيل واع.

لدى الشباب رغبة بالعمل واندفاع عفوي لحماية البيئة والحفاظ عليها،  ان الاستفادة من هذه القدرات يؤدي إلى  رفع مستوى الوعي البيئي لدى مختلف فئات المجتمع. وهذه الاستفادة  تتحقق عبر عدة خطوات:

١- دعم مؤسسات ومنظمات البيئة للاضطلاع بدورها

٢- تمكين الشباب عبر التدريب اللازم وعبر فتح باب التواصل والتشبيك مع الشباب الآخرين

٣- تأسيس النوادي البيئية في الأرياف

٤- دعم  أندية البيئة المدرسية ومجموعات المتطوعين الشباب من أجل البيئة

٥- تفعيل مفهوم العمل التطوعي لدى فئات الشباب.

٦- تبادل الخبرات والاستفادة من كفاءة الشباب لنقل التجارب وحماية البيئة

والشباب يستفيد من العمل التطوعي في المجال البيئي عبر تنمية مهاراته والاستفادة من وقته مما يجعله بعيدا عن الآفات المجتمعية. التطوع يساعد في نمو شخصية الشاب بطريقة صحية وعلى خلق شباب واع متحمل للمسؤولية وقادر على اتخاذ القرارات. للشباب اللبناني دور كبير في بناء الوطن وعلى صانعي القرار اشراكهم في العمل السياسي والعمل التطوعي.

تم نشر هذه المقال في ايكومينا على هذا الرابط https://www.ecomena.org/youth-volunteerism-ar/

COP23: Perspectives for Lebanon

This year the 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23) will be held in Bonn, Germany from 6-17 November. Although it will be held in Bonn, the Republic of Fiji will head it. The Fijian COP23 presidency had set a goal for COP23, which is uniting coalitions of the private sector, civil society and government and the public to fight climate change.

This year is very important because it is a preparation for 2018 COP in Poland in which the operational rules of the Paris Agreement (PA) will be discussed and agreed on and the “Paris Rulebook” will be delivered. This year parties will be able to meet and negotiate how to fully implement the guidelines of PA.

COP23 and Lebanon

Lebanon will be present at COP23 by its official delegation and by civil society. Lebanon is part of two negotiating groups: G-77 and China, and Arab states group, and a member of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF)

Although Lebanon did not ratify Paris Agreement yet, it is committed to it. The previous Prime Minister Tammam Salam signed the PA at the UN Headquarters in New York City on April 22, 2016, and the council of ministers approved it in August 2016.

As a member of CVF, Lebanon works toward avoiding the rise of average global temperatures beyond 1.5?C. Lebanon is strongly affected by climate change due to drought, seasonal variations, fishermen and farmers livelihood deteriorating, disturbance of rainfall patterns and sea level rise. Temperatures are expected to increase by 1 to 5?C in Lebanon by the end of the 21st century. The research found that by 2040, if the world temperature increased more than 2 Celsius, Lebanon will have about $17 billion loss as the impact of climate change.

The most affected sectors by climate change are agriculture and water resources.  The Lebanese government had initiated several steps to tackle climate change. As it was in Paris agreement obvious that private sector corporation is needed.

Potential Strategy

Lebanon has committed in the submitted INDCs in September 2015 to decrease his greenhouse gasses emissions compared to the Business-As-Usual (BAU) by 15% by 2030 and by 30% if it receives needed support, conditional. Energy emits more than half of Lebanon GHG emissions.  Lebanon cannot meet its objective without involving non-state actors. Lebanon started “Lebanon Climate Act” which is in partnership with UNDP, Central bank and lead by Green Mind to involve businesses in climate action.

Still, Lebanon needs to clarify the status in the implementation of its NDC. Lebanon should try to its commitment in NDC, the government should have a systemic plan to go forward since it is obvious that inaction will hinder the sustainable development of the country. Lebanon as a developing country needs financial support, capacity building, and research aid to help in identifying needs and information gaps.

Most important Lebanon needs a political will that really aims to work forward on environmental initiatives and to fighting climate change. This commitment can be only achieved by ratifying the Paris Agreement and study all legal needs to implement it. The parliament should as its environmental committee to suggest laws and decrees to mitigate climate change or else the future of our country will be gloomy.

It was first published on https://www.cleantechloops.com/cop23-lebanon/

Ingredients of Climate Finance

One of the central elements of climate change negotiations is climate finance, sometimes also referred to as green finance. Let me quote the definition of Climate finance from the Standing Committee on Finance under the UNFCCC: “Climate finance refers to local, national or transnational financing, which may be drawn from public, private and alternative sources of financing.

Significance of Climate Finance

Climate finance is critical to addressing climate change because large-scale investments are required to significantly reduce emissions, notably in sectors that emit large quantities of greenhouse gases.

Climate finance is equally important for adaptation, for which significant financial resources will be similarly required to allow countries to adapt to the adverse effects and reduce the impacts of climate change. The first reference to finance for climate change was in Rio Declaration. It appeared obviously and started being used as a term in 2009 during the Copenhagen summit.

Countries had submitted their INDCs emissions to cut emissions; many of which were conditional. Most of developing countries can meet their commitments and Paris Agreement would not be effective if funds from developed countries don’t flow to help in cutting emissions and in adaptation. The IEA estimates that going by Paris agreement and limiting the rise in global temperature below 2 degree Celsius would require energy investments by about 3.5 trillion dollars yearly until 2050.

Situation in Lebanon

Lebanon is considered a developing country that needs financial aid and capacity building to meet its commitments. The Lebanese government had done different Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions as NAMA for forestry and NAMA in the transport sector. The Global Environment Facility, GEF, had helped Lebanon in its different assessment projects done by the Ministry of Environment with the help of UNDP climate change program.

Lebanon needs a range between 1.5 to 3 billion dollars to tackle climate change effects. Hopefully, by the financial commitment of 100 billion under the Paris Agreement, Lebanon will get its financial requirement to mitigate and adapt across different sectors under climate change.

Way Forward

To unblock the opportunities, we need to green the finance sector. Governments should create an encouraging medium for the development of new financial tools to facilitate sustainable investment. Financial requirements for the challenge of climate change are enormous and we should look further on public-private partnership. Developed countries should support developing countries financially.


[1] http://unfccc.int/focus/climate_finance/items/7001.php#intro

[2] https://www.iea.org/newsroom/news/2017/march/deep-energy-transformation-needed-by-2050-to-limit-rise-in-global-temperature.html



First published on https://www.cleantechloops.com/climate-finance/

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