With just about a week remaining in the elections, the cabinet issued orders on Sunday for mandating all ministries to share their plans of gearing up for climate change by the next year end.
It should be noted that a similar decision had been announced back in 2018, but there hadn’t been any implementation. The COP27 climate conference of the United Nations is also scheduled to begin in two weeks in Egypt.
According to a spokesperson of the Environmental Protection Ministry, things were different this time because there was a deadline.
The National Emergency Authority, which is part of the Defense Ministry, is preparing a number of emergency scenarios and the report will have to relate to these.
The Climate Preparedness Unit of the Environmental Protection Ministry has also analyzed trends and highlighted priorities, which the cabinets will have to align with.
Prime Minister Yair Lapid said that if they prepare in advance and cope the right way, they would be able to find extraordinary opportunities in the climate crisis.
He said that this was not just about gearing up for battle, but of marching and ensuring the prosperity of the economy of Israel in the new world.
Environmental protection minister, Tamar Zandberg said that in order to save the environment and human life, it was essential to begin preparations early at the national level.
He added that the step they had taken was a significant one because it would help Israel gear up in dealing with the changes and damages that the climate change crisis is likely to bring.
However, the announcement has been criticized by environmental groups, which said that it is just more talk.
Adam Teva V’Din, the advocacy organization, said that the vote had not been given the status of a formal decision of the government, which would typically have a number and be published accordingly.
The organization said that it would be tough to enforce, unless it was made part of the law. It further said that the decision in 2018 had been a formal one, but it had still not been implemented.
This had been highlighted last year in a State Comptroller report before the beginning of the COP26 climate conference that was held in Scotland.
Climate change scenarios
Adam Teva V’Din also spoke about climate change scenarios and said that plans of only one kind of emergency had been mapped out by the National Emergency Authority, which was flooding.
They did not have a scientific and professional team for leading the initiative and it lacked the government machinery needed for enforcement.
It said that rather than making a single consultant of the Environmental Protection Ministry available to all ministries, they should provide a permanent official to each ministry who should be in charge of climate issues.
It was also noted by the Society for the Protection of Nature that the ministerial work had not been allocated any funding.
It stated that rather than mentioning future plans, the government should have announced actions because they need that instead of statements.