Words Bassam Al Kantar
The Lebanese Armed Forces has earned national status for being trustworthy and an emblem of Lebanese pride. Through reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adopting cleaner technology, the army is spearheading the mitigation of climate change. It is also embracing renewable energy and implementing energy efficiency measures.
In addition to its role in defending Lebanon, the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) has always been a pioneer of innovative and groundbreaking ventures. The LAF, like modern armies worldwide, is increasingly conscious of the lasting effects that its carbon footprint will leave on the environment. It is no surprise that the LAF have risen to the challenge of fighting climate change through the development of its Energy Sustainability Strategy. In fact, the Energy Sustainability of the Lebanese Armed Forces establishes a vision that ensures effective delivery of defense capability that is robust to climate and that does not of defense ca substantially contribute to its causes.
Under the EU-funded CEDRO IV project, the LAF, with support from UNDP, has conceived an innovative “Energy Sustainability Strategy.” The strategy stands as an important pillar for ensuring the army’s long-term efficiency]. Moreover increasing LAF’s energy security will bring immediate economic and financial benefits and enhance the daily well-being of its troops, thus contributing to better energy efficiency for the benefit of all citizens.
The Lebanese Ministry of Defense, the Lebanese Army, the European Union have entrusted and appointed the United Nations Development Program, CEDRO, to undertake a full energy assessment that has culminated in this Army Strategy Publication.
In terms of renewable energy, the LAF pledges to reach 20% of its total electricity consumption from renewable energy sources by 2030. With respect to heat generation, the army pledges to reach a similar 20% renewable energy target by 2030. With respect to energy efficiency, the LAF pledges a 10% reduction in energy use by 2030 relative to 2015.
To achieve these targets, many measures and actions are required. These measures include building a solar hot water and Solar PV systems, Roof Insulation, Double Glazing, and Water Saving Devices. In total, the LAF requires a $23,329,880 budget. Over 13 years, this would entail an $1,794,606.15 annual investment.
These measures would allow an approximate and direct annual saving for the Lebanese Army of approximately $3 million in the current environment of low fuel prices. This leads to a payback period of 7.7 years. If oil prices were to reach the $100/barrel mark again, the saving will double, and the payback period will halve. With respect to greenhouse gas emissions, these measures will reduce a total of 17,348 tons of CO2 equivalent per annum (based on a 0.7 kg of CO2 per kWh and 2.65kg of CO2 per liter of diesel).
The LAF hopes to implement as much as possible within the next 5 years. The Lebanese Ministry of Defense and the Lebanese Army Command will guide, prioritize, and oversee the implementation of this Strategy.