Israel’s government announced on Sunday, July 25, that by mid-century it will reduce the country’s 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. Israel signed the 2015 Paris climate accord, pledging to keep its carbon emissions stable until 2030.
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. 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. “We set significant goals, we met our international commitment on time, and most importantly, we mobilized the entire government,” Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) said.
However, from the left opposition, evaluation of the government’s plan is less sanguine. Hadash responded critically: “The new plan seems to rely less on natural gas, and doesn’t cut emissions goals much more than the desires expressed by the previous far-right government. The plan approved by the cabinet on Sunday to shift Israel to a low-carbon economy is an improvement over what had been proposed in the past, particularly around the time of the signing of the 2015 Paris climate accord. Nevertheless, the final plan that was approved is disappointing in view of what it will take to reach vital targets.”
Joint List leader MK Ayman Odeh (Hadash) tweeted on Sunday that last week he appealed to the Energy Ministry to match Israel’s greenhouse gas emissions goals to those recommended by the United Nations: a 50% reduction by 2030 and a 100% reduction by 2050.
In addition, during the past weeks a coalition of Israel’s major green groups has accused the new Bennett-Lapid government of promoting plans destructive to the environment that were set in motion by previous governments.