Will renewable energy fix Lebanon’s electricity problems?

Image result for lebanon solar power beirut river

Source: BRSS Lebanon

Lebanon’s electricity sector has never fully recovered from the civil war which ended 26 years ago. During this time, the national electric company, Electircité du Liban’s (EDL) economic losses have been signficanly high, reaching $USD 2.2  billion in 2012, about 20% of GDP. . As of 2012, EDL was producing 1,500 MW of electricity. Electricity consumption exceeds the total produced by 900  MW, which is 60% more than what is being produced. There are also negative environmental externalities from this sector. Residents of Jiyyeh and Zouq have long complained about the pollution caused by the power plants in the two areas. Continue reading

Air pollution and the lack of environmental data in Lebanon

Image result for air pollution lebanon zouk

Source:Blog Baladi

A major problem with not monitoring environmental indicators regularly, such as the case of Lebanon, is that the severity of an environmental problem is never clear. For example, there is a general consensus in Lebanon that pollution is high. There are various studies that measure the pollution in certain areas, but continuous national data that has been collected over a long period time that shows the level of pollution is either non-existent or inaccessible. Continue reading

A clash of mandates puts Lebanon’s heritage at risk: the case of the Red House

Source: Al Jazeera

One of the main factors that complicate the enforcement of rules and regulations in Lebanon are the overlapping jurisdictions of governmental entities. While most of these entities have a clear legal mandate the reality on the ground is rather ambiguous. Continue reading

The cement import “ban” and pollution

Source: Daily Star

Construction has been one of the largest sectors in Lebanon since the end of its 15-year long Civil War. This post war construction effort, along with population increase and a high amount of remittances from Lebanese expats have lead to billions of dollars being spent on real estate in the country. In 2013, the construction sector contributed to 21% of the Lebanon’s GDP. Continue reading

Update: Water quality along Lebanon’s coast after the waste crisis

The National Center for Marine Sciences Research Center released an update of their previous study on beach pollution. Last October, the results of a sea pollution study were disclosed to the public and two days ago the results were updated with data from May 2016.It is important to note that what was released was a description of the results and not the actual results. The methodology of the study, such as which pollutants were measured, the actual level of each pollutant and the criteria used to judge their level of acceptability have not been disclosed. This information is necessary to properly understand the types and level of pollution. The following figure is an info graphic published by the press indicating the environmental condition of various locations of the Lebanese coast.

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Cleaning up Qaroun Lake

Source: Daily Star

It is no secret that Lebanon’s water resources are in bad condition. A couple of years ago, two studies showed high concentrations of heavy metals and other dangerous pollutants in the Hasbani River and Lower Litani River Basin. Recently, farmers in South Lebanon complained that the water quality of the Litani River was destroying their crops. Villagers from North Lebanon complained of illnesses spreading due to the increased pollution at the Al-Fawar River and a large number of dead fish were found in the Qaraoun Lake. Continue reading