Hello, Lebanon. It’s me, your friendly Green Patriot. It appears as though climate change and desertification have finally made some news, as Minister of Environment Nazim Khoury addressed the General Assembly on Tuesday, pledging that Lebanon would combat climate change and desertification. He said that we are working to increase the amount of energy that comes from renewable sources to 12 percent by 2020 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions 35 percent by 2030.  Apparently, the economic benefits from such changes are roughly $3 billion! So far, so good.

He also said implementing this commitment is expected to cost a total of $12 billion, and called on developed countries to fulfill their obligations under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and secure effective and coordinated long-term funding. Going into greater debt might not sound great, given that we have quite some national debt, but we’ve always been a developing country and in any case, these are issues that need to be addressed and dealt with. Besides, it is good in the long-run!

What the plan actually is and how (or, more practically if), it is going to be implemented is anyone’s guess. Frankly, I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that not all potential funds go straight into a new ministerial private pool. But I digress.

My fellow Lebanese, there are individual things we can do to combat climate change and desertification, even if we don’t get foreign assistance (or see the fruits of it, anyway). A lot of the fight against climate change involves reducing the amount of CO2 (and other gases) we release into the air. To find out your “carbon footprint” and how you can do little things to reduce the amount of CO2 you use and thus help the environment, please follow this link: http://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx

As for desertification; this involves replanting, reforesting, and rehabilitating our land. So let’s do it, Lebanon. Let us rehabilitated our polluted and burned lands. Let’s get out there and help our country. Let us make it the best it can possibly be, both for it and ourselves. We can do it, Lebanon!