Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s cabinet made the historic decision last week to significantly reduce Israel’s greenhouse emissions. The goal set by the government is for Israel to produce 85% less greenhouses gases by 2050 than it did in 2015. The resolution also sets an interim target for 2030 of a 27% reduction in emissions.
The State of Israel recognizes the importance of reaching the target of zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 in accordance with the Paris Agreement and its international commitments, and to avoid crossing the global warming threshold of over 1.5 degrees Celsius. As part of the decision, the government will periodically examine the reduction targets set.
The approval of this resolution constitutes the implementation of Israel’s international commitment under the UN Climate Treaty, joining dozens of countries that have already decided on a vision and strategy for a low-emissions economy, led by the United States, the EU countries, Canada, Japan and China.
In order to meet the greenhouse gas reduction target for 2030, the decision proposes setting a series of targets in these sectors, including:
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions derived from solid waste by at least 47% by 2030 compared to emissions measured in 2015, which stood at 5.5 million tons. A 71% reduction in the amount of municipal waste dumped by 2030.
- Limiting the amount of greenhouse gas emissions from new vehicles weighing up to 3.5 tons to an amount equal to a maximum of 5% of the average greenhouse gas emissions for a new vehicle recorded in 2020. Starting in 2026, all new city buses purchased will be “clean” vehicles.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions derived from electricity generation by at least 30% by 2030 compared to emissions measured in 2015, which stood at 37.6 million tons. Setting a target according to which by 2030 the energy intensity invested in the production of gross national product of NIS 1 million will be 122 megawatts per hour.
- Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the industrial sector by at least 30% by 2030 compared to emissions in 2015, which stood at 12 million tons.
The resolution also advances key targets for 2050: a 96% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector, an 85% reduction in the electricity sector, and 92% in the municipal waste sector.
It was also determined that the Minister of Energy will work to set renewable energy targets for 2050 within 12 months of approving this decision, as well as establishing a mechanism to ensure that government policy is in line with Israel’s national climate goals and for efficient and low-carbon development of the economy.
The Ministries of Environmental Protection, Energy, Finance, Transportation, Economy and Industry, and Interior are leading the allocation of a dedicated budget to implement the targets for 2030, which will include investments in the purchase of electric buses, promoting the deployment of charging stations, investment in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in industry, businesses and local authorities, and more. This will be done in cooperation with representatives of local government and industry.
Minister of Environmental Protection Tamar Zandberg said:
“This is a historic moment for the sake of health and the environment today and for future generations! Israel is stepping up today to combat the climate crisis. For the first time, the government’s decision outlines objectives as well as a comprehensive strategy for Israel’s coping with the climate crisis that threatens our future in Israel and around the world. The goals and strategy we have formulated enable Israel to implement its international obligations as an OECD country and compete and thrive in a low-carbon world. Implementing the strategy will lead to huge savings in resource consumption, a near-complete cessation of pollution, and will enable the utilization of opportunities for growth and leveraging Israeli innovation and creativity, which develops climate solutions for Israel and the world.”
For more on Jewish views regarding environmentalism and “global warming,” see: Jewish Views on Climate Change