Progress and achievements of climate change projects at the Ministry of Environment

Mar 11, 2013

Launching event

Progress and achievements of climate change projects

at the Ministry of Environment





Beirut March11, 2013




Speech of Mr Robert Watkins
Resident Representative

United Nations Development Programme










Your Excellency Minister NazemEl Khoury, Minister of Environment

YourExcellences (to confirm Ambassadors attending)

Dear members of the press,

Dear Friends,



Across the world, awareness and acceptance of the need to mitigate national contributions to climate change, as well as find practical ways to adapt to the implications of climate change has never been higher. Following on the Rio+20 summit and the 18th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Doha last year, priorities such as clean and renewable energy, the green economy and resilience in the face of increasing climactic change have entered the common parlance of decision makers, civil society, businesses and the general public in country after country. 


And Lebanon is no exception. Here as elsewhere, the answer to future wellbeing lies in leaving behind the short-sighted policies of the past that often traded economic, social and environmental objectives off against each other. For this reason, UNDP works with the Government of Lebanon to promote integrated policy making linking economic growth, environmental management and social equity as functions of each other, yielding triple wins across all three pillars of prosperity. And in recognition of both the growing calls for global action on climate change and its own intensifying energy challenges, Lebanon has made an ambitious pledge to meet at least 12% of its energy supply from renewable resources by 2020.


Climate change in particular has been a priority for UNDP in our partnership with the Ministry of Environment for more than a decade now, beginning with our collaboration on the First National Communication to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change back in the late 1990’s. We have worked with a range of institutions to pilot renewable energy technologies, promote energy efficiency, help conduct greenhouse gas inventories and vulnerability assessments, as well as providing technical support to reaching the 12% renewable energy target.


Now today, with the support of several different funding partners, we proud to join the Ministry of Environment in launching three new initiatives that will form a significant step forward in building a Low Carbon based economy and greater national resilience in the face of Climate Change, while disseminating the results of a fourth just completed.


First, the “Third National Communication to the UNFCCC” will rank Lebanon in terms of progress and challenges for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the potential adverse impacts of climate change.  The results will help drive priority mitigation and adaptation policies for the country.


Second, the “Lebanon Low Emission Capacity Building project” will further guide decision-makers on the most suitable options to simultaneously reduce carbon emissions and stimulate economic growth while moving the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) programme forward.


Third, the “National Action Programme to Mainstream Climate Change into Lebanon's Development Agenda” will establish a national Climate Change Coordination Unit, strengthening the cooperation between, and building capacity among, different ministries, institutions, the private sector, academia and community organisations on climate change.


Finally, we are pleased to disseminate today the results of an important partnership between the UNDP and the Ministry of Environment. The Technology Needs Assessment project, funded by the Global Environment Facility and implemented in several countries with the support from the UNEP Riso Centre in Denmark, has identified priority technologies and interventions best able to further mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change in Lebanon.  


We thank all of the many partners who worked hard to make this a success and hope that the summary document shared this morning, with project concepts and action plans ready for immediate uptake by public or private organisations, will help guide policy makers and donors interested in further supporting climate action in Lebanon.


In closing, I would like to thank everyone at the Ministry of Environment, in particular the Minister for his leadership and perseverance, and the climate change team for their dedication and hard work.  I look forward to our continued collaboration in helping clear the path for a sustainable, Low Carbon Economy and a better future for all in Lebanon.

Thank you.