Promoting Renewable Energy in Israel: Anecessary step in fighting Climate Change inthe Middle East
According to recent scientific studies, the Middle East is one of the highest areas at risk and is more severely affected by the costs of climate change than otherregions in the world. Global warming has amounted so far to 1 degree celsius, above the pre-industrial level, while in the Middle East the average temperature has increased by 1.5 degrees. If drastic measures are not taken inorder to restrain climate change, these studies forecast an apocalyptic visionfor Mediterranean countries.
In Israel we have witnessed in recent decades extreme climate phenomenon such as adecline in annual rainfall, rising temperatures, five consecutive droughtyears, drying streams, ect. These have economic, social, and geopoliticalimplications; they increase the political instability in our region, createerosion in food security, water shortage and more. Steps are being made by thegovernment to promote the production of solar and other renewable sources ofenergy, and to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change. Theseactions are not enough. The electricity generated from renewable energy in Israel today stands at only 3%. Israel’s national targets are 10% of electricity production based on renewable energiesby 2020, and 17% by 2030 – this in contrast to the goal of 83% of natural gas.This gradual process is important, yet it is based on unassuming goals whichignore and even exacerbate the extent of the crisis.
Israel cannot allow itself to aim so low. We must work harder and aim higher, push tomaking bold decisions and promoting a variety of policy measures in order to fight climate change efficiently. We call upon our government to:
1.Adopt the ambitious targets the government set for itself towards theParis Agreements – at least 35% ofelectricity production based on renewable energies by 2030.
2.Promote regulatory and budgetary support for local initiatives tomobilize the public for the energy transition
3.Complete of the legislation that will allow the construction of solarsystems on the roofs of common buildings without the consent of all residents
4.Carry out a publicity campaign in order to raise public awareness andinvolvement, regarding renewable energy and how it can be implemented to ourday to day life
5.At our doorstep is accessible, feasible and clearsolutions for immediate implementation in the energy field, in order to copewith the consequences of climate change. The adoption and implementation ofimmediate solutions in our country will help the effort of reducing greenhousegas emissions that contribute to climate change, and reduce heavy air pollutionwhich is the cause of morbidity and the mortality of 2,500 Israelis per year.
COP24: Green Course is organizing a side event regarding food & climate at COP24 as well! The event is co-organized with the Humane Society International and is focused on discussing concrete policies to reduce animal products and encourage a shift towards a plant-based diet. The event takes place on December 13th at 11.30 AM. Link to digital Invite : The mitigation potential of plant-based diets: from science to policy
 Nature Climate Change volume 8, pages 972–980 (2018