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Lebanon, UNDP advancing solar energy

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Beirut plans to work with the United Nations to develop solar heating systems in the country, the Lebanese water and energy minister announced.

Marta Ruedas, the U.N. Development Project representative to Lebanon, praised Beirut's partnership in tackling the challenges presented by climate change by embracing renewable energy resources and reducing energy consumption.

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The UNDP has more than 25 active environmental projects in Lebanon. At least two relate to the advancement of solar power as a heating or energy source.

Local leaders along with Water and Energy Minister Jebran Bassil announced plans to work on solar projects through the Lebanese Center for Preserving Energy, Lebanon's Daily Star newspaper reports.

For his part, Saad Hariri, Lebanon's prime minister, left Beirut on Monday to take part in the international climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Members of Greenpeace during the weekend staged protests to encourage the prime minister to take advantage of Lebanon's relationship with oil-rich Saudi Arabia to advance green energy practices at the climate summit.

Lebanon is vulnerable to the effects of global warming and subsequent rising water levels due to its proximity to the Mediterranean Sea.

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