Unless you’re running to become the Republican frontrunner in the US federal election or have simply been purposely ignoring the hundreds of studies by scientists who have forewarned us about this slowly encroaching threat, you are probably very aware of the existence of climate change and the need to combat it.
Which is why we should all be overjoyed that our world leaders are finally taking notice of the issue and unanimously pledging to work together to protect our planet. For the last two weeks, world leaders who represent nations all over the world have been meeting in Paris to pledge their country’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions in the hopes of undoing the damage that we’ve been causing for so long.
While many countries have just started changing their environmental policies to align with this new reality, the State of Israel has been innovating new clean technologies and advocating for more sustainable global development for years! Despite having a relatively small emissions output in comparison to their country’s size and population, Israel came to this conference in full force, bringing 70 delegates lead by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This delegation included the Minister of the Environment, various Members of the Knesset, government officials and members of Israeli environmental NGOs.
The Israeli delegation made their message clear upon walking through the door: The State of Israel understands the impacts of climate change and has a concrete plan to help save the planet. This came in the form of pledging to reduce per capita greenhouse gas emissions to 7.7 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2030. To be precise, this would constitute 26% below their 2005 GHG emissions level.
While Israel’s pledge to lowering carbon emissions is certainly noteworthy, what’s most impressive of all is what the country’s already been doing to aid the environment through its many technological innovations. Prime Minister Netanyahu stated at the conference that “technology gives us the ability to do the unimaginable” and he is absolutely right!
Last year, Israel was number one on the Global Clean-Tech Innovation Index. Israel is also the number one recycler of water in the world, with their famous drip irrigation system being a large contributor to this efficiency. Additionally, Israel has been a global pioneer with their solar energy innovations for several years now, with several Israeli companies (like SolarEdge and Sologic) leading the way in the solar energy market. They’re also developing state-of-the-art techniques to increase crop yields and are working on additional ways to make desert agriculture possible.
Israel has developed these technologies at a time when the planet can use them most of all. Scientists have been warning us for years now that global warming will affect: water, public health, agriculture, energy, biodiversity, coastal infrastructure, natural disasters, national security, and more. Being already situated in such a dry, arid and politically unstable region, climate change is almost certain to cause serious damage to a country like Israel.
Hopefully, the rest of the world will follow suit and begin addressing climate change more seriously by committing to reduce their carbon emissions and investing more in alternative fuel sources and cleaner energy. And if they’re unsure of where to start, I’m sure the Israeli energy sector would be more than happy to lend them a helping hand.