Hello everyone and welcome to the European Union Residence.
It gives me great pleasure to be your host today and to particularly welcome the talented boys and girls who have creatively expressed their concerns about the environment and energy consumption in the best way possible.
When we look at these drawings, we don't merely catch a glimpse of the creativity, the artistic technique, and the enthusiasm that went into producing these beautiful drawings, but we also get an idea of what the generation of the future thinks of the habits that have accumulated across generations and that are harming the environment.
The environment is not constrained by borders and boundaries. What we do here in Lebanon – our energy consumption habits - as individuals or communities will have an impact, not only on this beautiful country, but also around the world. The opposite is also true, energy consumption habits in Europe, or elsewhere in the world, will have an impact on the environment in Lebanon.
There are small things we can do to contribute to a better environment and to help save the precious energy that we use in our daily lives. Let me give you an example: you’ve probably reminded others or been reminded to turn the light off when you leave the room, even if you’re only going for a few minutes. This simple habit can help save a small source of energy, but will make a big difference. And of course don’t forget to install your energy efficient light bulbs!
Another example would be, if you are brushing your teeth, don't keep the tap on all the time. You might save a small amount of precious water, but you will be making a huge difference. There are small things you can do to remind you to stick to these habits, like using stickers and post it notes on the light switches in your rooms or near the bathroom sink.
I would like also to share with you a little fact about energy saving in Europe. The European Union has set itself a target to save energy - It is to use 20% less energy by 2020 – this is roughly equivalent to turning off 400 power stations. So you see, it is those small little changes in our energy consumption habits, in addition to large nation-wide initiatives, that contribute to making big differences like this.
I don't want to take much of your time this evening and prefer to let you enjoy the work of our talented boys and girls who are showing us that there's enough talent to solve our common future environmental challenges. A big thank you to them, and thank you to all those who made this drawing competition possible – the team of the EU-funded SISSAF project and Fabriano.