Because of climate changes in Israel, the Jewish nation has presented itself as a partner in international efforts to mitigate the effects of global warming.
At the Copenhagen Conference on Climate Change in 2009, Israel announced its intention to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020.
Critics say Israel hasn’t done enough to keep that promise.
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“In retrospect, it would seem that there has not yet been a promise to the international community that Israel has so insouciantly flouted,” professor Alon Tal, a researcher in environmental policy at Ben-Gurion University, wrote in an article for Haaretz
Tal acknowledged a government initiative to conserve energy in homes, but wrote that electricity demand rose by more than 10 percent in the summer of 2012.
Israel Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz declared Israel’s support for a new global agreement on climate change in an address to the U.N. Climate Summit, The Jerusalem Post
reported in September.
The State of Israel Ministery of Environmental Protection outlined its efforts
to address climate change in a report released in September.
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The report highlights steps Israel has taken toward a multimillion dollar national plan set in 2010 based on resolutions to reduce electricity consumption by 20 percent and to generate 10 percent of the state’s electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2020.
Some steps include:
- In 2013 the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Economy launched a program to subsidize small and medium businesses in hiring energy efficiency consultants.
- In 2014, the Ministry of Environmental Protection partnered with the Beersheba municipality to provide energy consulting to small businesses and provide a database to help other communities to create similar programs.
- Net metering reform allows energy consumers to reduce their bills by producing their own renewable energy
- A voluntary greenhouse gas registry provides participating organizations with awards for emissions reductions
- A program was established to encourage green building through information, training, a knowledge center on green building and updated standards.
- Steps also have been taken to adapt to climate change, including establishing the Israeli Climate Change Information Center in 2011 to work toward the creation of a climate change adaptation. Recommendations highlighted in ICCIC report published in February include the following.
- Promote water-saving measures, rain harvesting, and reusing greywater and treated wastewater, along with building more seawater desalination facilities.
- Preparing the health system for the potential outbreak of diseases through training, information and guidelines.
- Monitoring, researching, and preserving freshwater ecosystems.
- Support green building with economic incentives, regulations, and education.
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- Israel also acknowledges the importance of international cooperation, according to a Nov. 4 agreement with Malta to advance cooperation in a host of environmental issues, including climate change and adapting to climate change.
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