There is no country in the world that is not experiencing first-hand the drastic effects of climate change. Greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, and are now more than 50 percent higher than their 1990 level. Further, global warming is causing long-lasting changes to our climate system, which threatens irreversible consequences if we do not act now.
The annual average losses from earthquakes, tsunamis, tropical cyclones and flooding amount to hundreds of billions of dollars, requiring an investment of US$6 billion annually in disaster risk management alone. The goal aims to mobilize $100 billion annually by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries and help mitigate climate-related disasters.
The Arab region is seeing temperatures rise faster than the global average, with temperatures expected possibly rising as much as 4°C by end of the century. Droughts are already more frequent and severe, with agricultural output possibly decreasing by 20% in value by 2080 and climate change leading to a 20% reduction of renewable water by 2030. Climate-induced displacement is a special threat, from both droughts and sea-level rise, with about 9% of the population in coastal zones five meters or less below sea level. All Arab countries have now issued national plans (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement to scale-up investments into climate resilience.
Helping more vulnerable regions, such as land locked countries and island states, adapt to climate change must go hand in hand with efforts to integrate disaster risk measures into national strategies. It is still possible, with the political will and a wide array of technological measures, to limit the increase in global mean temperature to two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This requires urgent collective action.
Lebanon has signed several conventions, such as the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and established several institutions dedicated to the protection of the environment. Lebanon is also vulnerable to extreme events that are increasing due to climate change. More can be done to reduce Lebanon’s contribution to climate change and increase the capacities of institutions working with environmental issues.
Did you know…
…that Lebanon increased its greenhouse gas emissions, gases that are harmful to the environment and contribute to climate change, by nearly 5% annually between 1994 and 2012?
…that it is estimated that by 2040 rainfall in Lebanon will have decreased by 10 to 20%?
...that at the current rate, sea levels will rise with up to 60 cm in the next 30 years?