Lebanon’s Challenges Expected To Increase With Climate Change

UNESCO | Middle East Eye

Climate change is will affect many sides of life in Lebanon, whether it be water sources, healthcare, and natural resources, as reported in a speech by Najat Rochdi, the UN Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon.

In a report made by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NNOA), the year 2021 has a 99% chance of being one of the top 10 warmest years witnessed.

In her speech, Najat Rochdi mentioned that climate change will increase temperatures, and therefore make water sources scarcer in the country.

Back in August, UNICEF warned that 4 million people, mostly constituted of children and women, could be cut off from safe water supply if immediate action is not taken.

The scarcity of water sources will make agriculture more difficult, especially with the several crises Lebanon is facing when it comes to fuel, currency, and electricity.

The rising temperatures will increase energy demand, for things like air conditioning, which the country has been facing trouble to meet.

When it comes to healthcare, the rising temperatures will provide a suitable environment for infectious diseases to spread more rapidly.

Moreover, malnutrition caused by the decreased output in agriculture could increase the rates of deaths.

Wildfires, which have been increasingly prevalent in Lebanon recently, are yet another effect climate change had on Lebanon.

These wildfires caused human casualties, such as the boy who died while helping with extinguishing the wildfires in Akkar. There should be more measures to prevent such events in the future.

However, as problems keep piling up in Lebanon, there is still hope.

Some of the measures Rochdi mentioned included investing in a reliable public transport system, which will help people and the environment equally.

While most measures are effective, one of the more important ones is raising awareness in Lebanon as in the whole world.

If climate change continues like it is now, chances are that what we are seeing from wildfires to high temperatures is what the future holds for Lebanon.

Any future Lebanese governments should prioritize climate planning and disaster risk management as well, as it could protect many facets of life in the country.

Lebanon’s problems can be solved, as long as there is action. Its people are known for their resilience and willingness to work hard for themselves and the future of their future children.

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