November 08, 2012 05:50 PM

BEIRUT: Climate change is a matter of serious concern to Lebanon, and the country must implement policies to deal with its fallout and mitigate its future impact, Environment Minister Nazem Khoury said Thursday.

“Climate change has serious consequences for the Arab world and for Lebanon, in spite of its relatively low emissions compared to the rest of the world,” Khoury said during a panel discussion at the ministry ahead of the United Nations convention on climate change in Doha later this month.

“Harsh and severe climate phenomenon occur in Lebanon, for example we can witness either a heavy rain season, or a long period of drought, which means we must put high and urgent importance on the issue of managing water in Lebanon,” he added.

Khoury said that while Lebanon accepted responsibilities to reduce emissions and to combat climate change in line with the United Nations conventions, it must nonetheless “make sure at the same time that efforts are made to combat climate change that will not put Lebanese economic growth at risk.”

The ministry, Khoury said, is currently in the process of enacting new projects aimed at combating climate change, including a body to improve cooperation between the concerned ministries, and project funded by the European Union and the Australian government to establish ways to reduce carbon emissions.

“In addition to reducing emissions, there is another need which will emerge soon to adapt to the effects of climate change,” Khoury said.

The ministry has studied a number of technologies to help several sectors, including water, energy and transportation, to adapt to climate change, Khoury said.

Full details would be presented following the Doha Climate Change Conference, Khoury said, which takes place between Nov. 26 and Dec. 7.

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(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News ::