The plan is expected to lead to more efficient energy consumption. Thus, Israel will join the international community in the global effort to deal with climate change and meet the demands of the OECD.

(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)

The Cabinet today (Sunday), 28 November 2010, approved a national plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as the outline of an action plan to implement it. In order to implement the plan, NIS 2.2 billion will be invested over the coming decade. The plan includes – inter alia – reducing home electricity consumption by switching to electricity-saving home appliances, improving and renovating buildings, educational efforts and information campaigns to increase awareness regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, promoting new Israeli technologies and green construction.

Implementing the plan will have long-term significance vis-à-vis reducing electricity demand, thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and fostering a cleaner environment by reducing pollution, thus leading to improved public health. There will also be improvements in quality of life and in promoting high-tech industries by utilizing relevant opportunities in the world market. The plan is expected to lead to more efficient energy consumption, thus allowing greater resources to be invested in new economic activity. Thus, Israel will join the international community in the global effort to deal with climate change and meet the demands of the OECD.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, "The recent dry months, including the driest November in the history of the state, are a warning light to us all that the threat of climate change is no less menacing than the security threats that we face. I intend to act determinedly in this field.  In a country that suffers from a severe water shortage, this is an existential struggle."

(Communicated by the Ministry of Environmental Protection)

In its meeting of November 28, 2010, Israel’s Cabinet unanimously approved an investment of 2.2 billion shekels for greenhouse gas emissions reduction. This unprecedented investment over the next decade represents a significant step toward greenhouse gas mitigation in Israel in line with its commitment in the Copenhagen Climate Summit. At the December 2009 Summit, Israel announced a 20% emissions reduction target beginning in 2020 compared to a business as usual scenario. This translates into an annual reduction of 21 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq).

In line with this commitment and at the initiative of Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, a directors general committee headed by the director general of the Ministry of Finance was established by government decision in March 2010 for the purpose of formulating a national plan for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Israel and for compliance with the target.

The November 2010 government decision adopts the conclusions of the committee and calls for the continued operation of the committee and the review of additional measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The decision includes recommendations whose implementation will bring about a reduction of 13 million tons CO2 eq in 2020, which constitute 60% of the reduction target. Additional steps which the Ministry of Environmental Protection will take in the field of waste reduction and recycling will bring a further reduction to 15.6 million tons which are 70% of the target.

Relating to the momentous decision, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan stated: "For the first time, Israel’s government is promoting a multi-billion shekel plan based on concrete steps aimed at advancing Israel’s contribution to greenhouse gas mitigation. This is a practical plan which relates to the life of every citizen and to steps which will support industry, technological innovation and a response to the universal problem of global warming."

Main points of the government decision:

  • Estimated investment of 1.2 billion shekels to promote the scrapping of refrigerators and air conditioners in 2011 – 2020, of which 269 million shekels will be invested in 2011 – 2012.
  • Allocation of 626 million shekels by the Ministry of Environmental Protection in 2011-2020, of which 114 million shekels will be allocated in 2011-2012, to support investments targeted at the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the industrial, commercial and public sectors.
  • Investment of 39 million shekels to promote pioneer projects for new and existing green building. This will include a building survey, with an emphasis on public buildings in Israel, aimed at advancing green building which will save energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, a joint experimental project by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Construction and Housing will be implemented which will see the energetic insulation of a neighborhood within the framework of Project Renewal.
  • Investment of 46 million shekels in education and information projects to increase awareness and promote behavioral changes in the public for the purpose of electricity savings and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in the coming two years.
  • Investment of 40 million shekels in the integration of Israeli technologies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the coming two years.
  • The Minister of Environmental Protection was granted powers to oversee the implementation of the necessary steps by all ministries.
  • The Minister of Infrastructure will promote regulations to improve the energy efficiency of electrical appliances. The Public Utilities Authority – Electricity will improve the smart meter system which allows a split in electricity tariffs between day and night so that includes additional small consumers.
  • The Minister of Finance will introduce taxation to promote the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, especially as in relation to motor vehicles.