This OpEd is part of the Issam Fares Institute opinion articles series published weekly. This article is written by
Nadim Farajalla, Director, Climate Change and the Environment Program, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut.
Rana El-Hajj, Manager, Climate Change and Environment Program, Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut.
It cannot be contested that dire socio-economic situation was the main driver of the ongoing mass protests taking place in Lebanon since October 17, 2019, however, several environmental issues can be considered of critical importance to these protests. Leading up to the current events was a crescendo of resentment and frustration Lebanese citizens endured over deteriorating environmental issues such as air pollution caused by the multitude of private generators and endless traffic jams; water pollution resulting from untreated sewage discharging into surface and ground water; uncontrolled and greedy quarrying of sand and rocks; dumping and burning of municipal solid waste; and more recently, widespread forest fires that devastated thousands of hectares of green areas, homes, and businesses.
Read the full oped: English