Lebanon Businessnews News

Cost of climate change
$2 billion by 2020
To reduce GDP by three percent
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Green House Gas (GHG) emissions will reduce the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by three percent or $1.6 billion in the next five years. Direct damage caused by climate change is $320 million, bringing the total economic cost to the country to almost $2 billion, according to a report titled: ‘Economic Costs to Lebanon from Climate Change: A First Look’ just released by the Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

The average cost will mostly be borne by households, whose income will be reduced by $1.5 billion and by the Government, whose costs will be $610 million.

The impact on agriculture and food supplies within the next five years will cost $793 million, on water ($24 million), on climate related natural disasters ($7 million), on tourism ($22 million), on electricity ($110 million), on ecosystems ($150 million), and on society ($160 million).

Ernie Niemi, founder of the U.S.-based Natural Resource Economics, who helped prepare the study, said: “These figures take into consideration a temperature rise of four degrees by 2020. They would be much higher if global temperature rises by six degrees.”

Appropriate measures to lower the potential repercussions on global GHG emissions on the country include strengthening human capital, conserving natural capital, reducing the vulnerability of physical capital, and fortifying the social and cultural capitals. Although the country might be able to reduce its vulnerability to climate-related risks, it cannot avoid them entirely. This would require the Government to work on effective planning and implementation of risk management strategies to increase resilience.

The Government pledged in the Paris Agreement to reduce GHG emissions by 15 percent and with international support, by 30 percent, by 2040.
Reported by Yassmine Alieh
Date Posted: Mar 09, 2016
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