Lebanon has submitted its climate action plan to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) ahead of the new universal climate change agreement which will be reached at the UN climate conference in Paris in December 2015.

The Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) is a country’s public declaration on what actions it intends to take under a new global agreement aiming at combating climate change. The INDC pairs national policy-setting – in which countries determine their contributions in the context of their national priorities, circumstances and capabilities – with a global framework that drives collective action toward a low-carbon, climate-resilient future.

Lebanon’s climate action plans

Despite Lebanon’s low share of global emissions (0.07%), Lebanon plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% conditional to the provision of international support and by as much as 15% unconditionally, both by 2030 relative to a business-as-usual scenario.

In addition, in a situation of development challenges, including, amongst other issues, a lack of security due to regional turmoil, political instability as well as massive inequality and a high level of poverty. Lebanon’s INDC highlights adaptation to climate change as a priority. Being a vulnerable country with scarce water resources and high population density in the coastal areas, Lebanon is already facing and will continue to face several challenges such as sea-level rise and decrease in precipitation as a result of climate change.

An exemplary institutional cooperation of all governmental departments characterized the preparation of Lebanon’s INDC by the Ministry of Environment with the support of the United Nations Development Program. This extensive involvement of all sectoral stakeholders shows Lebanon’s ambition to deliver despite severe national circumstances and sends a clear message to the international community that technical, financial and capacity building support is needed to deliver more.

Paris Agreement

As scheduled, 196 parties will meet in Paris at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP) of the UNFCCC to finalize a new climate change agreement in December 2015. The agreement is intended to set the main parameters for the next era of international climate action following the Kyoto Protocol.

Participating in COP 21 negotiations would give Lebanon a chance to be involved in setting up global policies that will limit global warming and promote climate action on the ground by scaling up funding for the most vulnerable people and countries. This INDC is therefore a dual opportunity for Lebanon to contribute to an international effort and to work towards meeting its own sustainable development goals. It is – in short – fair, ambitious and a flare of hope amidst ongoing struggles.

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Check the Lebanon Climate Change website: www.moe.gov.lb/climatechange

This segment is brought to you through a partnership between the UNDP Climate Change Team at the Ministry of Environment in Lebanon and the NAHARNET team. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any party/institution.