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Preparing for climate crisis? Not this government

The Environmental Protection Ministry’s plan might have been submitted before its deadline, but we are running out of time to genuinely prepare for the climate crisis.

Amit Bracha, CEO of Adam Teva V’Din today stated, “Israel’s current government does not believe in preparing for the climate crisis. Under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and with the support of Environmental Protection Minister, Idit Silman, the government is dishonest in reporting to the public as if a strategic climate preparedness program is underway.”

In practice, the Environmental Protection Ministry’s plan – published just in time to catch the December 31, 2023 deadline imposed on all government ministries for preparation of a detailed climate preparedness strategy – is a collection of ‘soft actions’ that will not prevent the climatic catastrophe predicted to befall the residents of Israel.

In the absence of an ambitious, budgeted, and binding Climate Law, all that is left for the Environmental Protection Ministry is a presentation of issues that “must be examined.” Without strong, ambitions and budgeted legislation, there are no binding decisions. In the absence of regulation, it is easy for the Treasury to eliminate NIS 200 million (approximately US $55 million) from the ministry’s budget for climate crisis preparedness.

Bracha also points out that in the Climate Preparedness Plan there is no treatment for more than 100 million cubic meters of runoff floodwater which pollute the sea every year; there are no measures to tackle the risks of rising sea levels and construction on along the shoreline will continue to contribute to the destruction of the coastline and cliffs, and damage precious beach resources.

“The Ministry’s plan does not include steps for reducing methane emissions from landfills – the greenhouse gas that contributes tens of percent per year to Israel’s GHG emissions,” Bracha adds. “There is no regulation for reducing the burden of heat in urban areas, and no provision for shading and planting trees in streets and public areas.”

Furthermore, the plan to reduce GHG and air pollution has been cut, and instead of preparing properly with a national plan for renewable energies, the Coalition government will promote permits for coal-fired power plants while ignoring the need to remove bureaucratic barriers to clean energy.

“In effect,” notes Amit Bracha, “The Government of Israel, under the auspices of the Ministry of Finance and with the support of Environment Minister Silman, is practically canceling the duty of the government and its agencies to prepare for the looming climate catastrophe.”

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The Environmental Protection Ministry’s plan is a collection of ‘soft actions’ that will not prevent the climatic catastrophe predicted to befall the residents of Israel.

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