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July 2, 2019 8:58 am

Israel’s Approach to Energy Is Suicidal, Says Former Head of UN Framework on Climate Change

avatar by Omer Kabir / CTech

Environmentally-friendly solar panels are an increasingly common sight on roofs in Israel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

CTech – Israel’s approach to renewable energy is suicidal, Christiana Figueres, the former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said in an interview with Calcalist in May.

“As a country in such a fragile region of the world, you would think that Israel would very quickly move towards energy independence, and towards being able to produce 100 percent of its own electricity and then move towards electric transportation so that it can be politically and economically independent of fossil fuel-exporting countries,” Figueres said. “It does not make sense to me that Israel depends on fossil fuel-exporting countries, it’s suicidal.”

The cost of producing solar energy is close to that of fossil fuels, according to Figueres, who previously led the negotiations for the Paris Agreement, which entered into force on November 4, 2016. A situation in which countries refuse to export fuel to Israel is not unlikely, so the country should strive to produce more of its own energy, Figueres said. Israel can reach at least 70 percent independence, if not 100 percent, she said.

While there is some sustainable and solar energy being produced in Israel, the country is capable of producing substantially more, Figueres said. In 2009, Israel set a target of achieving five percent green electricity by 2014, and 10 percent by 2020. As of May 2019, it is behind on its goal, barely scraping by at 6.5 percent. “If there is a state with sun, it is Israel,” she said.

As a general rule of thumb, all governments need to provide sustainable energy incentives and work towards better public transportation and power-based transportation that uses clean energy sources, Figueres said.

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