Israel is vulnerable to climate change because of its semi-desert climate, high population density and geo-strategic sensitivity.
The Climate Law for Israel is necessary as a permanent and stable legal framework for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and transition to a low-carbon economy. Enactment of a Climate Law will provide the government with the tools necessary to prepare for the consequences of climate change.
Israel is coming late to climate law. In fact, Israel is among the last four member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) to enact legislation regarding climate change. Adam Teva V’Din has drafted a climate bill that requires the government to set long-term goals, to reduce the total greenhouse gas emissions emitted from its territory, and specifies a list of considerations that the government must take into account when setting targets. The Adam Teva V’Din draft forms the basis of the government bill the Environment Ministry will advance.
What are the objectives of the law?
The law stipulates that by 2030 Israel will work to:
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40%.
- Generate at least 50% of electricity from renewables.
- Cut electricity consumption in 2030 by 17% of anticipated rates.
- Decrease the number of private motor vehicles by minimum 20%.
Based on these objectives, the bill requires the government to formulate a multi-year national plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Budgeting the law is critical to its success. The law will require the government to formulate a multi-year national plan to prepare for the climate crisis. For the plan to be effective, it must be stipulated that once a year the government will set a budget for the plan as part of the annual budget.
To reach its targets, the bill requires the government to formulate through the Ministry of Environmental Protection a multi-year National Plan that will define and assess climate change scenarios relevant to Israel. Ministries responsible for energy, transport and environmental protection, as well as the National Planning Authority will produce strategies and budgetary estimates for implementation of the proposed steps.
Today there is no definition of the possible threats to Israel.
Covid-19 is acknowledged as a global pandemic. At the outset, Israel’s health system was unprepared and lacked resources to deal with the corona virus which is believed to be the first of emerging health threats – pests, diseases, epidemics – arising from climate change.
Why is climate crisis so important for a small country like Israel?
- Agriculture – drought will affect the crop of vegetables and fruits and may harm food security in Israel
- Water – rainfall will decrease by 25 percent drop while extreme weather events will cause widespread flooding both in urban and rural areas.
- Heat – by 2050 the temperature will rise by 2 degrees, leading to health threats, rising sea levels, coastal flooding, etc.
Although Israel is a partner to several international frameworks, the most significant step towards a change in climate reality is the enactment of a Climate Law without delay.
We can all make a difference
In a recent Opinion piece in the Globes Business newspaper, Amit Bracha called on all Israelis to think ‘Climate’ in the March 2021 elections.
“Young Israeli first-time voters should to follow the lead from counterparts in the USA who responded to President Biden’s campaign pledges to implement climate resilience measures (and who demonstrated his commitment by reinstating the USA as a member of the Paris Climate Accords on his first day in office.
Voters should support candidates for party leadership who commit to instituting a legally binding strategy for climate mitigation and adaptation, including targets for renewable energies at 50% by 2030 and 100% by 2050.
We believe that Israeli leaders of industry and finance are already working to align their performance standards with global counterparts like Siemens and others global businesses committed to carbon neutrality by 2030.