Climate-Proofing Lebanon’s Development Plans

06 May 2021

Over recent months, Aether has been working alongside Vivid Economics, CAOS and ELARD to provide advice and analysis on climate-proofing Lebanon’s development plans.

Without considering climate impacts, there is a risk that Lebanon's national development agenda could compromise its climate commitments, as set out in its updated NDC. Equally, the climate commitments provide opportunities to mainstream climate change in the national development agenda, which could enhance green economic growth. Therefore, the project team explored how planned Lebanese development projects are likely to contribute to, or hinder, national climate commitments and identified viable alternatives that can strengthen mitigation and adaptation efforts.

The Aether team focused on the mitigation aspect of climate-proofing. First, we identified the development plans which were likely to have a significant impact on greenhouse gas emissions. We then quantified this impact, relative to the business-as-usual (BAU) scenario presented in Lebanon’s updated NDC. Some projects, such as one to reduce transmission and distribution losses from the electricity grid, were estimated to greatly lower emissions compared to BAU, while other projects, such as the creation of industrial zones, were projected to have the opposite effect. On balance, we estimated that all of the projects, if implemented, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 29% in 2030, compared to BAU. In other words, the increase in emissions over the next decade would be considerably smaller than without these projects. 

Figure 1: The cumulative impact of quantified projects on GHG emissions by 2030, relative to the BAU scenario, grouped by sector (ktCO2e) 


Our findings showed that Lebanon’s planned initiatives are likely to help progress towards the country’s climate ambitions. However, further projects, and enhancing the mitigation potential of current plans, will help to ensure that targets on emissions reduction, improved energy efficiency and increased renewable contribution are met and surpassed (while providing a range of other co-benefits). To this end, we identified a number of climate-proofing measures relevant to existing plans and estimated their impact on emissions and energy demand, demonstrating their potential to contribute to mitigation efforts.      

The work was conducted for the UNDP, as part of its Climate Promise agenda, and for the Lebanese Ministry of Environment. You can read the full report here:

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