Economics & Policy articles

Energy and climate change

Energy and climate change

Lebanon’s commitment to combating or mitigating climate change culminated in December 2015 when Lebanon became a signatory to the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21). Lebanon committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 15 percent by 2030 and up to 30 percent conditional upon the provision of international

Wind farms in Lebanon

Earlier this spring, Lebanon signed its first-ever power purchase agreement (PPA) for wind energy with three separate consortiums that will build and operate wind farms in Akkar, in the north of the country. The energy ministry’s signing of the agreements represents Lebanon’s first PPA with the private sector in electricity generation as part of efforts

Valued opinions

After over a decade of dormancy, Lebanon’s Economic and Social Council (ESC) was reactivated last November. The ESC is an advisory body to the government, and its opinons are non-binding. Executive met with the economist Mazen Soueid, one of 71 individuals named to serve on committees of the ESC, to understand how the institution can

VAT rises from 10 to 11 percent

Since at least 2011, the IMF has urged the Lebanese government to increase its VAT rate and to broaden the tax’s base by lowering exemptions. After this year’s increase of the VAT standard rate by 1 percent, from 10 to 11 percent, Lebanon’s VAT rate is still the second-lowest in the region after Djibouti, and

A nudge in the right direction

From preventing simple traffic violations to curbing rampant corruption, ensuring compliance with the rule of law in Lebanon is a serious challenge for policymakers. Heavy-handed controls often do not work, as they rely on individuals making rational decisions, and financial incentives are not sustainable in the long-run. What else can the government do to improve

The new PPP law

Previous experience in a number of countries has proven that public-private partnerships (PPP) are an efficient method for developing long-term infrastructure projects. Under a PPP model, the government remains focused on its primary regulatory role, while the private sector injects funds and expertise into developing projects for the benefit of the government and, ultimately, the

Troubled waters

A comment made by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman at a Tel Aviv conference on January 31 sparked outrage in Lebanon, bringing the issue of the maritime border dispute between Lebanon and Israel back into the spotlight and catching Washington’s attention once again. The Obama administration started mediating between Lebanon and Israel to help contain

Where is the money going?

In November 2017, Parliament ratified a state budget for the first time in over a decade. For  fiscal year 2017, the state’s total spending allocation was almost $16 billion (LL23.9 trillion). This represents a nearly 140 percent increase in public spending compared to 2005, the last year for which a budget was passed, when spending

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