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The economic cost of climate change in Lebanon

Let’s start with a recap of Lebanon’s situation. The economic crisis, the capital control, the loss of the Lebanese currency 80% of its value, the coronavirus pandemic, and last but not least the explosion in the port of Beirut. Sounds disastrous? Well, sure. But there is another economic cost in Lebanon, people aren’t enough aware of; it’s the cost of climate change.


A study in 2015 has projected that the potential fluctuations in climate due to human excessive activities will be 23.2 billion $ by 2080. This is a staggering number for a debtor country, from which the bank reserves of foreign currencies will run out in the next two months!


This climate change takes many aspects such as temperature rise, precipitation levels change, and extreme weather events. It will affect not only our environment but also our consumers, producers, SMEs... It means more losses to our economic activities.


What is the impact of climate change on SMEs?


Usually, wars, natural disasters, and any other negative phonemes will disrupt the economic cycle by reducing commercial activities and increasing the cost of production.


Other impacts of climate might be affecting SMEs in several ways:

- Higher insurance rate.

- Loss of business

- Loss of tourist dollars

- Reduced resources 

- Cost of infrastructure rehabilitation

- Higher taxes.


After listing these impacts, SMEs should take social responsibility, go green and be positive leaders to make a change in the environment. These acts are beneficial for several reasons:

- Good reputation in the business market.

- Attracting more customers who will turn into loyal customers

- Boosting profitability.

- Reducing costs of energy in the long term.

- Improving productivity.


Now you might be curious to know the ways since you’ll be saving a lot of money.

They are super easy; starting from using solar systems as alternative energy to replacing outdated appliances and supplies with greener counterparts.


We must also cultivate the employees about the importance of protecting our environment. They can use biodegradable products such as reusable/biodegradable coffee cups. They can also recycle paper and reuse other products.


But such a change might face many challenges. It will take time; money, effort, and new policies to implement these new modifications. People might resist changing due to Human behavior towards the change, their limited knowledge of adaptation options, and the lack of technical/financial capacity to implement.


Although these changes might be hard to implement, we have to take our responsibility and actions immediately in order to sustain our businesses and survive during these many crises we’re facing in Lebanon. 


And as Bill Ford says “Creating a strong business and building a better world are not conflicting goals- they are both essential ingredients for long-term success.” 


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