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Case Study

The Lebanon Climate Act: Engaging the private sector to enhance climate action in Lebanon

12am, June 13th, 2019
Lebanon

Lebanon is extremely vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, which is expected to cause significant costs to the economy. The huge economic loss estimates have led the government to realise that the active involvement and support of the private sector will be crucial to build a climate resilient future for Lebanon and to meet the country’s climate targets set out in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC). The idea to effectively engage the private sector was first put forth through the enactment of the Lebanon Climate Act in June 2016, which aims to address climate change in a way that maximises benefits for businesses and communities. To steer the process under this initiative, a guidebook has been prepared to enable and guide Lebanese businesses in understanding the climate impacts on their operations, creating strategies to mitigate these impacts, identifying key stakeholders for enabling action, and sharing their experiences with the wider stakeholder group and community. More than 100 companies and several non-governmental organisations (NGO) have been associated with the LCA in the initial two years, providing their critical inputs and insights and setting a strong precedent as climate leaders for other companies to follow.

The Lebanon Climate Act constitutes a good practice because of its robust stakeholder engagement, its ability to align climate change strategies with business objectives, business engagement and assistance platforms, and transparent monitoring, reporting and verification procedures.

Key Impact

As of today, about 126 members from various industries, commercial groups, banking firms, municipalities and 23 non-governmental organisations have associated with the Lebanon Climate Act (information obtained through interviews). Being a part of the LCA is expected to enhance the company’s ability to address climate risks, which can help them comply with environmental regulations and increase market competitiveness in the long term. A shift to sustainable actions will also help them to enhance resource efficiency of business operations that can save the operational costs and create cost-efficient supply chains. Greening the supply chains and establishing new eco-friendly product lines might as well help in building and retaining a large customer base that can open avenues for business growth in the future. The learning-by-doing process of designing the guidebook has led to the creation of a comprehensive yet systematic process for companies to engage in climate action.

Institutions Involved

  • Green Mind: The NGO aims to promote sustainability practices in Middle East and North Africa, and is responsible for establishing and coordinating the activities under this initiative.
  • United Nations Development Programme (UNDP): Contributed to the development of the guidebook and the establishment of the Business Knowledge Platform.
  • Banque du Liban: The central bank of Lebanon is funding and supporting Green Mind to cover its expenses for activities under the Lebanon Climate Act. It is further supporting the initiative by providing subsidised loans for mitigation projects to the private sector.