Lebanon Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources, energy and environment

In Lebanon there are minerals, but only iron ore, salt, calcium and gypsum are present in such quantities that it is worthwhile to extract them. The country also has assets of marble, sandstone and limestone but mining has been halted due to environmental problems.

Lebanon derives its water mainly from caves beneath the mountains of Lebanon and from the rivers Damour and Antelias, which flow towards the Mediterranean. At the end of the summer, there is often a water shortage in the capital Beirut. In 2002, Lebanon began pumping water from the Wazzani River, which also supplies Israel with water, which increased tensions in the region. A planned dam construction in the Awwali River a few miles south of Beirut is intended to be financed through loans from the World Bank and provide both drinking water and irrigation, but there is an environmental opinion against the construction.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Lebanon with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

Lebanon’s energy needs are largely covered by imported oil. Increased use of natural gas and green energy is planned. Natural gas is imported from eg Egypt. Large resources of oil and natural gas have been discovered offshore in the waters between Israel and Lebanon. However, it is unclear where the sea border goes, and Lebanon has requested that the UN help clarify the issue. The test drilling done has been promising and interest from foreign companies is great, but the government has postponed the issue of production licenses.

  • Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, LE stands for Lebanon. Visit itypeusa for more information about Lebanon.

Electricity production is not enough to meet the need despite the electricity grid being connected to those of neighboring countries. Electric resonance occurs, especially during the summer when air conditioning requires a lot of energy. Private companies often have their own generators to cope with the constant power cuts.

Air and water pollution are major problems in Lebanon. In the capital Beirut, the air is polluted by emissions from traffic and incineration of industrial waste. The water along the coasts is polluted by garbage, impure wastewater discharged directly into the sea and by oil spills from shipping (see Calendar). Other problems are deforestation and overgrazing of land within the livestock management, which paves the way for soil degradation. It has also been reported that illegal activities occur in quarries where decisions have been made to stop mining.

Nature conservation organizations are very concerned that large numbers of migratory birds are being killed in Lebanon. For bird species such as storks and pelicans, the death toll is very high, because they are hunted.


Energy use per person

1 335 kilograms of oil equivalent (2014)

Electricity consumption per person

2888 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions in total

24 070 thousand tonnes (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

4.3 tons (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

3.6 percent (2015)




Syrian bomb attack

Three people lose their lives when Syrian bombers attack targets near the city of Arsal. Syria regularly raids Arsal where Syrian rebels have taken refuge.

Relatives of prisoners require action

Relatives of the police and soldiers captured in Arsal in September are blocking roads in Beirut and elsewhere and demanding that the authorities act to free the prisoners. The unrest erupts since the rebels announce that another prisoner has been executed.

Six soldiers killed

Six soldiers are killed in an ambush in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon. The ambush is linked to the news that Lebanon in the city of Arsal has arrested an ex-wife and a daughter of IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.


Parliamentary elections are postponed

Parliament votes to postpone the parliamentary elections that would have been held during the month; By a large majority, Parliament is voting to extend its mandate to March 2017. The elections would have actually been held as early as May 2013 but were postponed with reference to the deteriorating security situation in the country. The same reasons for the decision are stated this time.

Agreement on weapons for the army

France and Saudi Arabia conclude an agreement on France to provide the Lebanese army with $ 3 billion weapons while Saudi Arabia stands for the bill. Deliveries are expected to start in early 2015.


Fighting in Tripoli requires several casualties

Two days of fighting in Tripoli between the Lebanese army and Islamist militia require over 16 lives, including at least 5 civilians. It is one of the most serious clashes in Lebanon related to the civil war in Syria.

Three soldiers are killed

Three soldiers are killed in various assaults during the month, two of them in Tripoli.

Bomb against Israeli patrol

Hezbollah detonates a bomb against an Israeli patrol near the disputed area of ​​the Sheba farms in the south and two Israelis are injured. Israel answers the attack by airstrikes against Hezbollah’s positions in southern Lebanon. According to Hezbollah, the attack is a revenge for one of the movement’s members killed in an Israeli blast in southern Lebanon in September.

Struggles between Hezbollah and Syrian rebels

A firefight erupts in the mountains east of the city of Baalbek between Hezbollah and rebels from Syria. The fighting requires at least eight Hezbollah deaths, while “dozens” of Syrians are killed according to Hezbollah.


The violence continues

A Hezbollah member is killed as he approaches an object in southern Lebanon suspected of being an Israeli interceptor. The man loses his life when Israel blasts the device in the distance.

At least three people are killed when a suicide bomber attacks a roadblock in the Beka Valley manned by Hezbollah.

A soldier is shot to death in the city of Tripoli when armed Sunni Muslims attack an army posting. The attack is part of a pattern of attacks against extremist soldiers accusing the Lebanese army of supporting Hezbollah.

Prisoners are executed

Two more of the prisoners taken by the al-Nusra front and IS during the Arsal battle in August are executed.

Lebanon supports fight against IS

Lebanon, along with other states in the region, promises to support the US fight against the Islamic State, which has taken control of much of Iraq and Syria and has made itself known for extremely brutal methods. The countries pledge to join the military fight against IS and to stop recruits trying to get to IS via their territory. The countries also undertake to stop money subsidies to IS.


Hairiri returns

Saad Hariri returns to Lebanon from his exile. Among other things, he will oversee that a Saudi $ 1 billion donation will benefit Lebanon’s army. The donation is intended to strengthen the army against the threat of extremist groups.

IS attacks Arsal

Around 60 people are killed and thousands of residents flee as Syrian rebels from the al-Nusra front and Islamic State attack the city of Arsal in the Bekaa Valley as it borders Syria. The rebels occupy buildings in the city and demand the release of one of the group’s leaders who were arrested at a nearby roadblock. The Lebanese army sends troops and the fighting extends over several days before a ceasefire is reached and the rebels are reported to withdraw. Two thirds of the victims are civilians. The others are government soldiers. The number of injured or killed among the rebels is unknown. 30 soldiers and police are captured by the rebels who threaten to execute them unless Hezbollah stops supporting the regime in Syria. They also demand that Islamists in Lebanese prisons be released. When they are not heard for their demands, a Lebanese soldier is beheaded by IS. The murder is filmed and posted on the Internet.


Islamist group threatens to attack churches

The Group of the Free Sunnite Brigade in Baalbek states that it is loyal to the extremist Islamist group Islamic State which has proclaimed a caliphate in Iraq and Syria. The Brigade announces that it intends to attack Christian churches in the Beka Valley.

Lebanon receives criticism from Amnesty

Human rights organization Amnesty International accuses Lebanon of discriminating against Syrian Palestinians seeking protection in the country. According to Amnesty, border inspectors set a string of almost unattainable requirements to allow Palestinians to enter. The Lebanese authorities deny that this would be the case.


More suicide bombings

A few days later, a young man dies from the security service when he stops a suspected suicide bomber outside a Beirut cafe. 12 people are injured in the attack. Another man blasts himself into the air as the security service storms his hotel room. Ten people are injured.

Bomb attack at roadblock

A suicide bomber brings a person to death when he blasts himself into the air at a roadblock on the highway between Beirut and Syria’s capital Damascus. The attack takes place shortly after a vehicle column has passed with a senior security officer who is considered to be Hezbollah close.


The President resigns

President Michel Suleiman resigns when his term expires on May 25 without Parliament being able to appoint a successor. Prime Minister Tamam Salam takes over as interim president.

New visa rules

Lebanon issues new visa rules that make it harder for Palestinians from Syria to enter the country.


A presidential vote is absent

On April 23, a vote will be held in Parliament to appoint a new president. Rivals for the presidential post are two Christian politicians, Michel Aoun (see June 2009) and Samir Geagea, leader of the Lebanese forces Christian Party. Aoun is backed by Hezbollah and the March 8 movement, while anti-Syrian Geagea is backed by the March 14 alliance. However, no vote can be held as not enough members appear. In order for the vote to take place, two-thirds of the members must be present.

A new vote is announced until April 30, but no candidate can be appointed now either. The next vote is postponed until May.

Fighting in refugee camps

Nine people are killed in fighting between two armed groups in a Palestinian refugee camp on April 6. One of those killed should be a Palestinian relief worker. More than 400,000 Palestinians live in various refugee camps in Lebanon.

New law prohibits domestic violence

On 1 April Parliament voted in favor of a law that prohibits domestic violence. This is done after years of lobbying by women’s rights organizations. Sections of Lebanese society have traditionally seen violence against women and children as socially and religiously accepted. The law was described as “historical” by Human Rights Watch. The organization points out that the law is too vague to guarantee women’s safety, but still calls it a milestone on the road.

The army intervenes in Tripoli

The Lebanese army launches troops with helicopters in Tripoli to stifle the violence that has sprung up in the city as a result of the civil war in Syria (see February 2012).


UN coordinator appeals for help to refugees

Ross Mountain, which coordinates UN support for Lebanon, appeals to the outside world for more help to Syrian refugees in the country. To date, more than one million people have moved from Syria to Lebanon, half of them children. The UN estimates that there will be another half a million people by the end of the year. According to a study by the World Bank, the refugee crisis has cost Lebanon more than $ 7 billion through reduced trade and tourism.

Suicide bombing at border with Syria

On March 30, three soldiers were killed in a suicide attack at a border post against Syria. According to reports, the attack was carried out by the Sunni al-Nusra Front, which operates in both Syria and Lebanon. The subject should have been the Lebanese army’s alleged cooperation with Hezbollah, which in turn supports the Assad regime, after the deed announces the Lebanese army that it intends to intensify its efforts to fight against ” jihadists ” in Lebanon.

Violence in Tripoli

On several occasions in March, violence erupted between Alawites and Sunni Muslims in the port city of Tripoli in the north. At least 30 people, most civilians, are reported to have been killed. The unrest continues even after Lebanon deployed security forces to curb the violence.

New government approved after disagreements

Parliament approves the new government (see February 2014) with 94 votes in favor and four against. The process has dragged on over time due to disagreement over what military role Hezbollah should have. Hezbollah, which has not been disarmed since the end of the civil war in 1990, has a military capability that exceeds the regular army, and the March 14 alliance wants during the negotiations for Hezbollah’s weapons arsenal to be put under state review. The discussion ends with a compromise, and Hezbollah is allowed to keep its weapon.

Israeli attack against Hezbollah

Israel strikes targets in Lebanon since Hezbollah has attacked an Israeli patrol near the border with explosive charges. Hezbollah’s attack is believed to be a revenge for the Israeli attack in February against Hezbollah in the Bekaa Valley. No man is reported to have been injured in the attacks.

Sunni Muslim targets are bombed by Syria

Syrian helicopters bomb targets near the Sunni Muslim village of Arsal on the Lebanese side of the border. Many of Arsal’s residents support the rebellion against Syrian President Assad and the city is used as a hiding place by Syrian rebel groups. Arsal is also located along one of the roads used by the rebels to smuggle weapons in and out of Syria.


Israel is said to have bombed the Hezbollah stronghold

Lebanese security sources say Israel bombed one of Hezbollah’s strongholds in the Bekaa Valley at the Lebanon-Syria border. If the information is correct, according to AFP, the first time Israel bombs targets in Lebanon since the summer of 2006 (see Modern History). As a rule, Israel does not officially comment on reports of this kind, but an Israeli security source states that the target was a missile transport. The missile in question could carry far more powerful charges than those previously sent by Hezbollah across the border to Israel. Four people are said to have lost their lives in the attack and Hezbollah promises to take revenge.

Suicide bombing near Iranian cultural center

At least four people are killed and dozens injured when two concerted suicide attacks are carried out near an Iranian cultural center in southern Beirut, where Hezbollah is strong. One man in a car and another man on a motorcycle blast themselves in the air in various places at the center.

New government

After ten months of negotiations, Tamam Salam manages to form a government with both the March 8 movement dominated by Hezbollah and Said Hariri’s March 14 alliance. Both groups receive eight ministerial posts each. The remaining eight items go to people described as politically neutral, including the only female minister.

One more charged with murder investigation

A fifth member of Hezbollah is indicted in his absence for involvement in the assassination of Rafiq al-Hariri (see January 2014 and February 2005). The ongoing trial against four other defendants is thus postponed for a few months so that the defense of the fifth person can prepare for the negotiations.

Young man convicted for statement on Twitter

A young man is sentenced to two months in prison for insulting President Suleiman on Twitter. The convict has written in a message that the president is “politically neutered”. This is the first time anyone has been convicted of making a statement on social media, but similar statements in other contexts have also led to prison sentences.

Attacks against Hezbollah

Four people lose their lives in a new attack on one of Hezbollah’s strongholds. In addition to the deaths, at least 15 people are injured when a suicide bomber triggers an explosive charge in a car near a petrol station in the city of Hermel in northeast Lebanon. It is the seventh assault against Hezbollah since the movement engaged on that side of the regime in the war in Syria.


New battles

New fighting between Alawites and Sunni Muslims in the city of Tripoli requires ten lives.

Trial against prosecuted Hezbollah members begins

Four people are killed when a car bomb explodes in Hezbollah-controlled area in southern Beirut. A group calling itself the Al-Nusra Front in Lebanon takes on the blame for the deed (see December 2013). The Islamist group Isis (later Islamic State) also announces that it will start operating in Lebanon.

Lebanon Energy and Environment Facts

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