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July 25, 2021 5:29 pm
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Israel Pushes Ahead With ‘Historic’ Plan to Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2050

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

Cars drive on a highway as a train enters a station in Tel Aviv, Israel November 25, 2018. Picture taken November 25, 2018. REUTERS/Corinna Kern

Israel approved what it called a “historic” national strategy to gradually shift the country toward a low carbon emission economy by 2050.

“The climate crisis is real, and we are taking action. Our goal is that by 2050, Israel will have a low-carbon economy and a thriving economy, which will preserve the beautiful Land of Israel for us, and preserve the future for our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Prime Minister Bennett said Sunday.

Led by Minister of Environmental Protection Tamar Zandberg, together with the Ministers of Finance, Foreign Affairs, Energy, Transportation, Economy and Interior, Israel set itself goals for a national strategy to move to a clean, efficient and competitive economy.

Israel seeks to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 85 percent from the country’s 2015 levels, by 2050. As part of the plan, the country set an intermediate target of a 27 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. Other national targets for 2050 include a 96 percent reduction in carbon emissions from transport, an 85 percent reduction from the electricity sector, and a 92 percent reduction in the municipal waste sector. As of 2026, all new city buses which will be purchased will be clean vehicles.

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“The climate crisis is a dramatic threat to humanity. We must act now if we are to continue to thrive as a developed country and a competitive economy. I am pleased that we have been able to improve our existing targets for 2030,” said Zandberg.

“There is some criticism of our humble objectives. There’s something to it, but there is urgency and there are compromises. We set significant goals, met our international commitment on time, and mainly mobilized the entire government for integrated activities,” she continued. “This is a historic moment for health and the environment today and for future generations. Hence the importance — to start working together as early as tomorrow.”

At the Paris Climate Conference, held in late 2015, world leaders pledged by the end of 2020 to formulate a vision and goals for transitioning to low-carbon or even zero-emission economies by 2050. Most OECD countries have already made such commitments, including the US, which has pledged to create a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and a net-zero emission economy by no later than 2050.

The adoption of Sunday’s resolution demonstrated Israel’s international commitment under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, joining the US, EU countries, Canada, Japan and China, the Environment Ministry said.

“In this way, Israel is at the forefront with the other developed countries of the world,” Bennett added.

The Ministries of Environmental Protection, Energy, Transportation, Economy and Industry and the Interior will allocate a budget to implement the targets for 2030, which will include investments in the purchase of electric buses, promotion of charging stations, investment in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in industry, businesses and local authorities and more.

Following the approval of the decision, Israel will work to set targets for renewable energy for 2050 within the coming 12 months, as well as create a mechanism to ensure that its government policy is in line with Israel’s national climate goals and efficient and low-carbon development.

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