Lebanon Climate Act initiative organized on the 10th of February 2017, a training session for private companies, NGOs and Municipalities, at the headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon.
This session is the second round of a series of sessions aiming to deepen the knowledge about the mechanisms to tackle climate change, and to identify the ways in which the private sector companies can contribute to these mechanisms through the design and implementation of activities that will reduce the carbon footprint. The session also encouraged active NGOs and Municipalities to design and implement innovative climate change projects in Lebanon, in partnership with active private sector companies.
This initiative is implemented by Green Mind Society in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, with support of the Central Bank of Lebanon and in partnership with the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture of Beirut and Mount Lebanon. The Business Knowledge Platform organized by Lebanon Climate Act is supported in 2016-2017 by the regional Clima-South project, funded by the European Union in order to support climate change mitigation and adaptation in the southern EU countries.
The Lebanon Climate Act, the first of its kind in MENA countries, which was launched in June 2016, aims at supporting economic growth in a way that also creates value for the society by addressing climate change challenges, through low-carbon economy. Since its inception, more than 140 companies from the private sector and civil society in Lebanon have joined the initiative.
The Clima-South project aims to promote dialogue and cooperation on climate change between the EU and the Southern Mediterranean countries, support the transition of partner countries towards low-carbon economy and development of climate resilience.
The first day of the training session has been delivered by the international trainer Aglaya Antily and the environmental consultant Rawad Massoud. NGOs, Municipalities were trained on how to effectively partner with private companies in order to implement successful projects. The participants submitted “project idea” that can reduce harmful impact of climate change.
Six candidates were selected based on the proposed project and the good proven track record and sustainability. The selected projects were provided a unique opportunity to network with representatives from the private sector.
The themes of the projects were as follows: Solid Waste Management (Aintoura Municipality, and Byblos Ecologia Organization), Electronic Waste Management (Beeatoona), Sustainable Green Transport (Arcenciel), Sustainable Management of Seashore (The Lebanese Environment Forum), Environmental Education (Green School Initiative).
During the second day of the training session, NGOs and Municipalities explored further potential opportunities for establishing fruitful partnerships with partners from private companies .
The selected NGOs and Municipalities gave an overview of their climate change projects for establishing potential partnerships. The presentations helped the companies to define their criteria for successful selection of external partners for joint project implementation, and introduced the companies to potential initiatives that could fit with their corporate objectives.
Green Mind’s president, Nada Zaarour, pointed out that Lebanon Climate Act initiative constitutes an opportunity to increase profits in our work enhance and economic growth in Lebanon.
“LCA is proofing a great success by expanding the membership to a pioneer NGOs, Municipalities, and Social enterprise, to join more than 140 active companies from the private sector”. Zaarour concluded.
In turn, Lea Kai Aboujaoude, representative of the climate change project at the Ministry of Environment, implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, stressed that Lebanon Climate Act is taking the lead towards Lebanon’s Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) in accordance with guidance of the UNFCCC, with an overall goal to maintain and strengthen the national capacity of the country for continuous fulfillment of its commitments under the Climate Convention.
According to Lebanon’s “Third National Communication to the UNFCCC”, if current trends in greenhouse gas emissions continue, anticipated changes in climate likely would impose economic costs on Lebanon both directly and indirectly. Direct costs would materialize as higher temperatures, changes in precipitation, and extreme weather events such as storms, reduce agricultural productivity, adversely affect human health, cause flooding, and impose similar damage on different segments of Lebanon’s economy and society. This would impose costs on Lebanon of about USD 320 million in 2020 and USD 23,200 million in 2080.
Indirect costs would materialize as the direct costs slow the country’s economic growth. The slower
growth would reduce Lebanon’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by about USD 1,600 million, or 3% by 2020, 14% in 2040, 32% in 2080. This forgone GDP would constitute a real cost, or reduction in economic wellbeing for Lebanon’s households, businesses, and government.
The total estimated cost from direct-damage and forgone GDP will be borne by the government at a cost of USD 610 million in 2020 to USD 44,300 million in 2080 and by households at an average annual cost of USD 1,500 in 2020 to USD 107,200 in 2080. Rural households generally would experience larger percentage reductions than urban households. If meaningful actions were taken to significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions, total costs from adverse impacts of climate change on Lebanon would be reduced in 2020 by about 28%, and by as much as 91% in 2080.