HomeCarbon CreditsIsrael to Fail 2030 Climate Pledge

Israel to Fail 2030 Climate Pledge

Israel is lagging behind its own climate pledges, according to a report published by the Environmental Protection Ministry.

The country is set to reduce its global warming emissions by just 12% by 2030. This is well below the 27% target it pledged to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. 

The report states that only 19% of energy will be generated by renewable sources by the end of the decade, compared with the official goal of 30%

These revelations come at a time when countries around the world are working to reduce their carbon footprints to combat the effects of climate change.

Failing to Meet Climate Pledge

The annual report reviewed progress until 2021 on official emissions reduction targets across the economy and various sectors. The benchmark for reduction levels is the rate in 2015. 

The report predicts gaps between targets and realistic achievements on almost every pledge that the Israeli government has made.

Largest landfill in Israel - Dudaim dump site
Largest dump site in Israel, Dudaim

The UN expects Israeli emissions from solid waste to drop by at least 47% by the end of the decade, compared with 2015, but these will likely only diminish by 19%, according to the report.

The electricity sector is meant to see a 30% drop in emissions by 2030, compared to 2015. But it is likely to only reach a cut of 21%. Industry is also supposed to meet a 30% reduction, but is likely to reduce its emissions by just 17%

Most of the emissions cuts in 2021 came from the electricity sector as a result of using less coal. Emissions from waste dropped by 4% during that year, but increased by 13% in industry and by 2% in transportation.

The report also shows that Israel is far less ambitious than other developed nations in reducing its carbon footprint. It states that Israel only reduced its total emissions throughout 2020 by 2%, compared with 11%-20% in other Western countries. 

A further 3% were reduced in 2021 but this pace is nowhere near enough to hit the 27% target by 2030, the report says.

The reasons for this slow pace are huge delays in reduction plans and lack of budget for implementing them.

What the Israeli Government Should Do 

To meet its targets, Israel needs to pass a Climate Law that obliges the government to meet its goals, sets out the infrastructure for doing so, and provides certainty to the market. The report lists a number of steps that the government should take to speed up and meet its declared targets. These include the following measures:

  • Converting methane from sewage treatment plants into energy, 
  • Developing and implementing programs to slash emissions in agriculture
  • Ensuring energy efficiency in general, closing petrochemical industries in the northern city of Haifa by 2030, and 
  • Moving much faster towards replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy to generate electricity.

Additional steps include closing coal-fired power plants, making solar panels mandatory on all new buildings, adapting the electricity distribution network so that it can cope with more renewable energy, and providing cash incentives to install EV car charging stations and solar panels on sites that are already in use, such as parking lots.

Meeting Targets with Carbon Credits 

Carbon credits could play a role in Israel’s efforts to meet its climate pledge. A carbon credit is a permit that allows a company or country to emit a certain amount of greenhouse gases.

Carbon credits can be traded on carbon markets, allowing companies or countries to offset their emissions by funding emissions reduction projects in other countries. In this way, Israel could offset some of its emissions by investing in emissions reduction projects in other countries.

The use of carbon credits has been controversial recently, with critics arguing that they allow polluters to continue polluting. However, supporters of carbon credits argue that they can provide a source of funding for emissions reduction projects in developing countries that might not otherwise have the resources to undertake such projects.

In conclusion, Israel is falling behind on its climate targets, and urgent action is needed to reduce the country’s emissions.

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