The Paris Climate Conference begins today aimed at adoption of a new, global agreement that would obligate all Parties to the climate change convention to reduce greenhouse gases (GHGs). Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay are heading the delegation.
Minister Gabbay: "Israel is coming to this conference with dramatic goals to reduce GHG emissions and air pollution, which can shake up our economy so that it is based on cleaner energies such as [natural] gas and solar, as opposed to polluting fuels."
Some 40,000 delegates from around the world, including heads of state and government ministers, will be in Paris for the 21st Conference of the Parties, or COP 21, of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
The gathering, taking place from Nov. 30 – Dec. 11, is one of the most important climate conferences ever, because a new climate agreement is expected to be adopted there. The agreement will obligate all Parties to the Convention to reduce GHG emissions. The previous global agreement, the Kyoto Protocol, obligated only countries considered developed. Israel signed the Protocol, but was not considered developed, and so was not legally required to commit to an emissions reduction.
Israeli Delegation to COP 21
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the conference today at the Leaders Event, featuring heads of state who have registered to deliver a statement. Mr. Netanyahu will make his statement at 14:45 (Paris time).
The Israeli delegation to the conference is composed of 70 people from national and local government, environmental NGOs, academia, and industry. This includes 12 representatives from the MoEP, as well as officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Economy, National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources.
During the conference, delegation members will participate in discussions about the climate convention and GHG emissions reduction. In addition, the delegation is organizing two side events that will present the Israeli perspective in relation to climate change adaptation.
Israel's GHG Emissions Reduction Commitment
In September 2015, the Israeli government submitted its official GHG reduction target to the UNFCCC. The mitigation target is a per capita emissions reduction of 7.7 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2030. This constitutes a reduction of 26% below the level in 2005 of 10.4 tCO2e per capita. An interim target of 8.8 tCO2e is expected by 2025. There are also sector-specific targets for 2030. The program is expected to result in a NIS 100 billion savings to the the Israeli market.
The Ministry of Environmental Protection is currently promoting a plan to implement the goals, which includes sector-specific targets. Learn more about Israel’s GHG emissions reduction targets and Israel’s plan.