Greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) will likely have large direct and indirect economic costs on the country, according to Lebanon’s Third National Communication to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The report was jointly published by the Ministry of Environment, UN Development Programme (UNDP), and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).
The cost of GHG emissions is forecasted to reach $320 million in 2020 and $23.2 billion in 2080.
“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,” the report stated.
Indirect costs would materialize as the direct costs slow the country’s economic growth. The slower growth would reduce GDP by about $1,600 million, or three percent by 2020, 14 percent in 2040, and 32 percent in 2080. This forgone GDP would constitute a real cost, or reduction in economic wellbeing for households, businesses, and Government.
The report measured total GHG emissions in 2012, which amounted to $26.3 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. Emissions increased 89 percent from 1994 and 39 percent from 2000. They averaged around five percent annual increase.
The main contributor to GHG emissions is the energy production sector with 53 percent of GHG emissions, followed by transport (23 percent), waste sector (11 percent) and industrial processes (Ten percent).
According to the report, potential options to increase climate resilience include increasing the water-use efficiency of irrigation systems, developing species and hybrids more tolerant of high temperatures and drought, and changing the timing of planting, irrigation, and harvesting. Resiliency approaches also include adopting sustainable agricultural practices and integrated pest management techniques, developing rangeland-management practices that recognize the effects of climate change, and providing farmers with better, timely information about pending extreme weather events.
The GEF is a partnership of 18 agencies, including United Nations agencies, multilateral development banks, national entities and international NGOs, to address challenging environmental issues.