Israel Approves Targets for Reducing Greenhouse Gases

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters/Hamodia) -
israel greenhouse gas emissions
View of Orot Rabin Power Station as it seen from Nahal Hadera Park. (Menachem Lederman/Flash90/File)

Israel said on Sunday that by mid-century it would reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions by 85% from 2015 levels, as part of an international push to limit global warming.

The government approved the 2050 target and set an interim target of 2030 to reduce emissions by 27% from levels in 2015, the year when global climate accords were agreed in Paris.

The Paris deal aims to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius, and preferably by 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrial levels.

“We set significant goals, we met our international commitment on time, and most importantly, we mobilized the entire government,” Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg said.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said national targets included a 96% reduction in carbon emissions from transport, an 85% reduction from the electricity sector and a 92% reduction in the municipal waste sector.

But environmental groups were not joining in the self-congratulatory talk.

Yoni Sapir, chairperson of the Shomrei Habayit (“Guardians of the Home”) association, said that “it’s astonishing to see the brutal mangling by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Energy of the original targets … Unfortunately, the clipped targets are mostly worthless. They do not include a target of reaching a net zero carbon emissions economy such as most countries have adopted.”

Amit Bracha, executive director of the Adam Teva V’Din association, criticized the plan because it has not been anchored in legislation that would fully commit the government to the targets. “Without a law, we haven’t done anything,” he said.

The government’s decision also does not include a budget for implementation, only promises that there will be a budget, Globes reported.

To meet the stated goals, funding will be needed for things like the purchase of electric buses, deployment of charging stations, reduction of greenhouse gases by industry and local authorities.