(The Daily Star/Susannah Walden)
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Lebanon can make significant cuts to the annual $6 billion cost of importing energy resources by improving renewable power generation and modernizing technology, Central Bank Gov. Riad Salameh said Monday.The Lebanon Climate Act is an initiative run by the environmental NGO Green Mind and the United Nations Development Program, in partnership with Lebanon's central bank, Banque du Liban.Under the project, BdL has issued means of promoting environmental initiatives through low or zero interest loans for projects with "an environmental aim".The ceremony marked the first year of the initiative and recognized the 11 companies from various private sectors that participated in the LCA's Business Knowledge Platform training sessions that supported the development and implementation of tailored climate action plans.Among the "power speakers" who also addressed the packed auditorium at Universite Saint-Joseph's central Beirut campus were notable international figures – including EU Ambassador Christina Lassen and UNDP Resident Representative Philippe Lazzarini – as well as key private sector leaders such as Renault-Nissan Alliance CEO Carlos Ghosn and Lebanese government officials such as Environment Minister Tarek Khatib, who represented Prime Minister Saad Hariri.Lassen noted that the EU's co-funding of the project was the first time the EU was supporting the private sector on a regional level in climate action. Choucair's affirmation of the private sector's increasing on-trend interest in applying environmentally friendly business approaches into their work plans was reiterated by the LCA cohort of companies.
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