(Communicated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection)

A first of its kind workshop on establishing a voluntary mechanism for greenhouse gas registry and reporting in Israel will take place in Yad Hashmona near Jerusalem on February 13 – 14, 2008. In relating to the workshop, Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra has expressed the hope that "Israel will be transformed into a leader in advancing greenhouse gas emissions reduction projects and promoting environmental quality. We are interested in broadening cooperation within the framework of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), which will lead to greenhouse gas emissions reductions."

An important step toward fulfilling this hope came on February 12, 2008, when Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister and the German Ambassador to Israel signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation on the Clean Development Mechanism. A draft memorandum was first proposed in June 2006 when German Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Israel Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra met to discuss the subject.

Clean Development Mechanism and Israel
The Clean Development Mechanism is one of two project-based flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Its dual goals are to promote sustainable development in developing countries and to allow industrialized (Annex I) countries to earn emissions credits from their investments in emission-reducing projects in developing countries.

Israel, classified as a developing country under the Convention, has utilized the CDM as an economic-environmental tool for promoting projects which reduce emissions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and comply with sustainable development principles. A Designated National Authority for CDM, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, was established in Israel soon after the country ratified the Kyoto Protocol. The DNA is charged with approving CDM projects which comply with the principles of sustainable development policy. To date, 31 projects have been submitted to the DNA and 10 Israeli projects have been approved and registered by the CDM Executive Board in the United Nations. The potential of greenhouse gas emissions reductions of CDM projects in Israel is currently estimated at some 2.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.

Workshop on the Establishment of a Voluntary Mechanism for Greenhouse Gas Registry and Reporting
An innovative mechanism for greenhouse gas accounting and reporting has emerged in recent years as an additional means of managing greenhouse gas emissions. This mechanism provides a voluntary reporting platform for companies and businesses to register their greenhouse gas emissions.

A two day workshop on establishing a voluntary mechanism for greenhouse gas registry and reporting and on developing CDM activities in Israel will be held in Israel on February 13 – 14, 2008. Organized by the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection in cooperation with the German Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Manufacturers’ Association of Israel, the workshop is targeted at examining the significance of adopting a voluntary accounting and reporting greenhouse gas program in Israel which will also facilitate the integration of Israeli companies in trade emissions mechanisms.

At the workshop, experts from Germany, Mexico and the USA will present their experience in establishing greenhouse gas accounting and reporting mechanisms.

The aims of the workshop include:

– To examine the significance of greenhouse gas accounting and  
  reporting;
– To improve the capacity of Israel companies to take part in
  emissions trade mechanisms;
– To identify projects for reducing emissions in industry;
– To examine possibilities for cooperation between Israel and
  Annex I countries, including Germany;
– To improve the capability of Israeli industry to take part in
  international agreements such as the Climate Change
  Convention and the post-Kyoto agreements (after 2012).

The workshop will focus on the advantages of adopting a voluntary accounting and reporting greenhouse gas program and on the tools for implementing such a program. It will also examine means of utilizing the Kyoto Protocol mechanisms as financial tools for greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

At present, a system for calculating, registering and reporting greenhouse gas emissions does not exist in Israel. The establishment of a voluntary registry system in Israel could assist industry to establish greenhouse gas emissions baselines, to manage greenhouse gas risks and to identify effective reduction opportunities.

Ms Ronnie Cohen-Ginat of the Air Quality Division of the Ministry of Environmental Protection says that the voluntary mechanism for greenhouse registry and reporting, currently being reviewed by the Ministry, will enable greenhouse gas reporting at the level of the individual plant and will assist industrial plants to identify potential projects. Cohen-Ginat further explains that "the State of Israel must prepare for the post-Kyoto agreements and reduce greenhouse gases, and therefore cooperation and consultation with different industrial sectors is imperative."