Last week, the British Embassy in Beirut hosted a climate action workshop for 16 youth innovators in collaboration with the idea innovator company, Ideanco. The UK’s COP26 MENA Ambassador Janet Rogan attended virtually from London and the British Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires, Alyson King, gave closing remarks.
Tackling climate change is a priority for the UK government, which hosted the COP26 conference in Glasgow last year. COP26 brought countries together to enable all countries to meet global net zero targets and reduce the impacts of climate change, resulting in the Glasgow Climate Pact. To achieve this countries must unlock public and private investment and push for innovative and green solutions. After the COP26 conference, the UK announced £50m funding to support energy transition and green infrastructure and growth in the Middle East and North Africa. Lebanon will be able to apply for funding to help its change to greener energy.
In November 2021, the British Embassy in Beirut, in partnership with UNDP and the Minister of the Environment Nasser Yassin hosted a roundtable discussion on climate action with COP26 Ambassador Rogan and attended by more than 50 climate innovators, environmental experts, young people, graduates of the UK’s prestigious Chevening scholarship scheme, NGOs and media.
Addressing the workshop attendees, COP26 Ambassador Janet Rogan said:
“Socioeconomic and sustainability agendas have been set back by the COVID pandemic which is sadly not over yet. Conflicts around the world are also harming our food security, affecting supplies of grain and cooking oil. MENA is one of the regions with significant water shortages which has an impact on biodiversity and food and water security. Fortunately, at COP26, the world came together to shift towards not just plans and meetings but implementation, turning words into action.
The civil society and private sector are part and parcel of this action including in Lebanon. Working on climate action is about joining hands and not pointing fingers and I am confident that young people here and around the world are key in accelerating climate action and innovation.”
Chargé d’Affaires Alyson King said:
“As countries including Lebanon begin to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic, this presents an opportunity for us to act to tackle climate change at the same time – to build back better, and greener. COP26 was a transformational meeting, as world leaders respond to the urgency of the situation, and begin to build a path towards the future of our children and our planet. Yes, Lebanon is facing many crises. Crisis is also an opportunity. The old ways of doing things won’t work any more.
The British Embassy is proud to support people who are taking action, imagining a better Lebanon, and working together. Action builds hope. I encourage you to ask candidates in the upcoming parliamentary elections to play their part in making Lebanon a cleaner and greener, fairer and better country.”
CEO of ideanco, Maher Ezzeddine, said:
“Whether it’s mobility, biodiversity, air pollution, or food security, the climate and environmental challenges in Lebanon are tremendous but so are the opportunities present to think of creative solutions and help the country fast forward into greener energies. The Art of Curiosity aligned with the UN Sustainability Development Goals (SDGs) and in partnership with the UK Government, is the first in Lebanon, but it certainly won’t be the last. Our goal is to reinvent the traditional sectors while creating successful cleantech companies from Lebanon to the world.