Award Ceremony for Institutions Reporting their Greenhouse Gas Emissions

19 Dec 2013

Your Excellency Minister Nazem El Khoury, Minister of Environment

Your Excellences

Dear members of the press,

Dear Friends,

Awareness of the urgent need to reduce national contributions to climate change and find practical ways of adapting to the effects of climate change has never been higher. Clean and renewable energy, the green economy and resilience in the face of increasingly dramatic weather events have become priorities for decision makers, civil society, businesses and the general public the world over. 

Lebanon is no exception, as the effects of climate change make people more vulnerable, particularly those in poorer, rural areas. And in the current crisis, the plight of refugees and resilience of host communities has been compounded by increasing challenges in ensuring the availability of water resources, protecting against flooding and providing shelter from ever harsher weather conditions. 

 

UNDP has been working for more than a decade now with the Government of Lebanon and the Ministry of Environment to promote integrated policy making recognizing the inherent linkages between economic growth, environmental management and social equity, each as functions of one another, yielding triple wins across all three pillars of broader prosperity.

Climate change in particular has been a priority for UNDP in our partnership with the Ministry of Environment, beginning with our collaboration on the First National Communication to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change from the late 1990’s. Since then, we have worked with a range of institutions to pilot renewable energy technologies, promote energy efficiency, help conduct greenhouse gas inventories and vulnerability assessments. This work has also recognized and fostered the central role of the private sector making meaningful change possible.

And today, as part of “Lebanon’s Low Emission Capacity Building project”, a global project that is supported through generous contributions from the European Commission, the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and AusAID, we are thrilled to welcome the private sector as our newest partner in combating climate change and supporting a Low Carbon Economy in Lebanon. Only together, particularly with industries and SMEs, can we can drive the effective implementation of critical mitigation and adaptation policies that will protect Lebanon’s already heavily damaged environment and strengthen economic resilience. 

 

But it is still early. Efforts made thus far must be maintained and redoubled. Lebanon can become again an example for others in terms of progress for reducing greenhouse gas emissions while strengthening the cooperation between the public and private sectors, academia and civil society on climate change.

I wish to thank all of the partners who worked hard to make this a success and hope that we will meet again next year with even more private institutions represented in the room.

In closing, I would like to especially thank everyone at the Ministry of Environment, in particular the Minister El Khoury, 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 move towards a sustainable, Low Carbon Economy and a better future for all in Lebanon.