Leaders articles

Jbeil’s power pursuits

Jbeil’s power pursuits

In 2010, everything was looking up for Lebanon’s electricity sector. Gebran Bassil, then minister of energy and water, had put forth a master plan that by 2015 would have delivered 24 hours of uninterrupted electricity generated cheaply by clean burning natural gas. The plan, needless to say, did not fully materialize, leaving individual areas to

A rubbish decision

Lebanon has never gotten nation-wide waste management right. In 1971 the government hired a local consultant to help write a plan for treating and disposing of the country’s waste, according to the consultant’s website. While the company declined an interview request, the existence of hundreds of open dumps around the country attest to the fact

Resource wealth buried under paperwork

Another year of waiting has come to pass and yet there is still no movement for Lebanon’s oil and gas sector. Is it a regional conspiracy to prevent the Lebanese government from taking its own decision, or is it the fault of American diplomats, as Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri claimed in November 2015? Almost

BDL plays government

Banque du Liban (BDL), Lebanon’s central bank, makes a curious claim on its website. Under “Monetary Overview” in the “About Us” section, the bank says that, beginning in 2013, it “resorted to unconventional monetary policy tools to stimulate internal demand and sustain the country’s growth and job creation potential.” Here the bank is referring to

Time to talk it up a notch

Lebanon is at a crossroads. It has been two years since the announcement of Circular 331, and the murmurings of a revitalised golden age brought about by our startup and entrepreneurial system. Whilst it might be too early to speak of the clear tangible benefits to the Lebanese economy, there is obvious traction within the

Rivers of corruption

In late October the streets of Beirut filled with water. A torrential downpour, common for this time of the year, washed the garbage accumulations on various empty lots and roadside spots onto the city’s streets, turning what was solid waste into a disgusting viscous soup. After six weeks of disagreement over the emergency plan, the

Stopping the spill

War is coming. The battles ahead will not be fought on land or sea. They will be waged in parliamentary sessions and cabinet meetings. Our enemy is readying for an invasion so our defenses must be impenetrable. As Lebanon slowly develops an oil and gas industry, we need weapons purpose-built to prevent the systemic corruption

Waste management: a collective duty

The waste management crisis has been a good awareness campaign for recycling. In the past two months, there have been numerous reports of municipalities demanding residents sort their waste at home. Zero Waste Act — a private-sector recycling initiative reports a deluge of interest from people who want to divert some of their trash from

From burning to breaking

It was the waste crisis that ignited the protests around the Lebanese Parliament, across Downtown, on the doorsteps of numerous ministries and on highways and sites around the country. On different occasions, such as August 22 and September 20, protests flared into massive demonstrations. On many other days, protest activities were small manifestations of discontent

Criminal negligence

Every minister deserves to be in jail. By closing the Naameh sanitary landfill without an alternative in place, our politicians committed a crime that will continue damaging this country for years to come. And the calamity we are currently living through was predictable – in fact, we foresaw this. When residents near Naameh clogged Beirut’s