The grant - the single largest UNDP environmental contribution to Lebanon - will serve to help the country reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve energy and cut the power bill for the public sector, businesses and households alike. The five-year project will also receive $1 million from the Government of Lebanon as well as an additional $500,000 secured by UNDP from other sources.
Hailing the initiative, UNDP's Resident Representative in Lebanon, Yves de San, said it would foster important results in the energy sector, and would have a "direct impact on the overall environment situation and sustainable human development in the country, not to mention the energy bill and the growth potential of the economy."
Mr. de San stressed that the project would strengthen Lebanon's capacity to sustain long-term energy efficiency efforts, benefiting the global and local environment. "It will remove barriers to the effective adoption of energy efficiency measures in the Lebanese energy sector, both public and private, as well as the introduction of energy conservation," he said.
By encouraging the installation of solar power equipment and the introduction of natural gas in the coming years, the new project hopes to cut the country's fuel bill - expected to reach $800 million this year - by one-third. The grant will also allow Lebanon to reduce carbon dioxide production by 1 per cent per year. In addition, it will finance the establishment of a Lebanese Centre for Energy Conservation and Planning, which will serve as the focal point for conservation activities.