A group of recyclable garbage collectors push their cart past a pile of garbage burning on the side of a street on December 7, 2015 in the Lebanese capital Beirut. AFP PHOTO / JOSEPH EID
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A global climate agreement signed by 195 countries including Lebanon in Paris Saturday has been hailed as a promising step toward capping carbon emissions that, if left unchecked, will lead to catastrophic climate change by the end of the century.Whether the global community will meet the global warming target set out in the deal is of tremendous consequence to Lebanon, which depends on snowfall to replenish its aquifers and predictable weather patterns to sustain its agriculture. Lebanon, as a developing country, must simply control the rate of its carbon emissions growth, rather than reduce emissions in absolute terms.Lebanon is already beset by severe ecological degradation, brought about by decades of poor land-planning and environmental mismanagement. Global temperatures have already risen by an average of 1 degree Celsius since the pre-industrial era, shifting weather patterns toward extremes and deteriorating ecosystems in Lebanon, the Middle East and beyond.
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