23/03/2016
Pollution from Bus, Haifa. Photo: Ilan Malester
Fighting Air Pollution: MoEP and JNF to Allocate NIS 20m to fund Electric Buses
Pollution from Bus, Haifa 
Photo: Ilan Malester 
The first phase has begun in a joint project aimed at significantly reducing air pollution in Israel, and the damage to public health that results from it. The Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) and the Jewish National Fund (JNF) are working together to put more than 50 new electric buses on Israeli roads. The project is being implemented within the framework of an agreement between the State of Israel and the JNF, signed in November 2015, dealing with JNF debts. Under terms of the pact, a "Committee for National Initiatives" will provide for the transfer of JNF funds to the MoEP, for environmental projects. Altogether, the JNF will pay some NIS 400 million for projects aimed at reducing air pollution, energy efficiency, and improving the quality of life in Israel – especially in the periphery.

​The MoEP put out a Call for Proposals for public transportation companies to take part in the project. The JNF will subsidize the purchase of the 50 plus electric buses and necessary infrastructure. The project is also being carried out with the cooperation of the Ministry of Transportation.

MoEP Director General Yisrael Dancziger: "Cleaner transportation saves lives. Every polluting vehicle that is taken off the road contributes to the saving of human lives and to a substantial improvement in our quality of life. This project is just a first step in the revolution that the State of Israel will experience, thanks to the cooperation between the MoEP and the JNF."

JNF Chairman Danny Atar: "The joint JNF-Ministry of Environmental Protection projects are designed to take care of both life itself and the quality of life. The targets we identified for ourselves, as the largest environmental organization in Israel, is to fight air pollution, to improve the environment, and to ensure that Israel will be a green place to live. The electric buses project is an important first step on the way to achieving these goals."

Some 1,250 Israelis die from vehicular air pollution in Israel every year. Because drastic and creative actions are needed to deal quickly and efficiently with this issue, the MoEP and the JNF have developed a joint vision aimed at saving lives: a health revolution and effort to reduce environmental gaps. Projects that will be implemented will not only reduce air pollution and improve energy efficiency, but also significantly improve quality of life throughout Israel.