In recent news, the first Climate Bill of the State of Israel has managed to receive approval after various delays. According to Tamar Zandbgerg, the Environmental Protection Minister, the advancement of the bill is nothing short of a historic moment. He made this announcement shortly after the Ministerial Committee for Legislation stated that the bill will now be going into the Knesset. The draft legislation seeks to ensure that the government curbs its global warming emissions by a minimum of 27% by the year 2030. This is going to be compared with the benchmark of 2015 and eventually reach net zero by the time 2050 rolls around.
The bill received unanimous approval from the committee and was also backed by Naftali Bennet, the Prime Minister. He had announced the net zero goal just last year while giving a speech in Israel. Shortly after, he had departed for the United Nations COP26 climate conference, which was taking place in Scotland. Yair Lapid, the foreign minister also provided backing for the bill. The bill is reflective of a compromise that was reached after long and tough battle that took place between the Environmental Protection Ministry and the Finance Ministry.
The former wanted to set ambitious targets where emission cuts are concerned, whereas the Finance Ministry did not want to include any specific goals in the primary legislation. On the other hand, the Energy Ministry, which heads the energy security in the Jewish state, is more reluctant as compared to the Environmental Protection Ministry to bring about a reduction in the country’s reliance on natural gas. The Society for the Protection of Nature welcomed the approval of the bill with open hands. The director of climate policy in Israel, Tamara Lev, stated that the targets set were not ambitious enough.
According to her, there was an absence of enough milestones to ensure progress and guide towards an economy that is carbon neutral. Lev went on to add that the SPNI would continue applying pressure for further improvements, as the bill advances into the Knesset. The CEO of Adam Teva V’Din, Amit Bracha, had also been instrumental in helping draft the original bill presented by the Environmental Protection Ministry. He added that the company will also be pressing for additional upgrades and submit a more ambitious bill for private members.
Yorai Lahav-Hertzano will be working with Adam Teva V’Din to draft another bill. The drafted legislation consists of targets to cut down on carbon emissions by no less than 45%. This also includes generating 50% of energy only from renewable resources by the year 2030. The alternative bill, on the other hand, also sets out a proper legal framework for budgeting, creating, implementing, monitoring, and reporting regarding national plans in a bid to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas. In addition, it will also help prepare for additional effects brought about by climate change. These effects are expected to be experienced primarily by Israel and the Middle Eastern region.