Environment-related infrastructure and activities often require an initial financial investment that economically weak authorities cannot afford. As a result, local authorities in poorer areas have less environmental regulation and often do not have necessary infrastructure, such as waste treatment facilities. Thus, the gap between the haves and have-nots is deepening when it comes to quality of life and of the environment. In addition, those in poorer communities are exposed to higher level of risk associated with environmental hazards.
Goals of the government decision to fund environment-related infrastructure and activities for local authorities with low socio-economic rankings:
- Improve quality of life for residents
- Reduce environment-related gaps
- Reduce exposure of residents to environmental risks
- Promote international targets related to the reduction of emissions and waste transfer
MoEP Director General Yisrael Dancziger: "As part of our activities to reduce pollution and environmental risks, it is very important for us to support and help communities with poor socio-economic rankings. The change the government approved today will help us work toward that, and will help us support the communities who need government help in order to address environmental hazards."
Finance/Environmental Protection Minister Moshe Kahlon: "Every environmental tort is a social injustice. The change we are leading will allow for a reduction of gaps in environmental matters, and will improve the quality of life for all residents of Israel."
Environmental spending of local authorities with high socio-economic rankings come to NIS 1,010 per year for each resident. In clusters 1-5 (the five lowest ranked local authorities), environmental spending comes to just NIS 691 per person per year. In addition, in poorer local authorities, the rate of water loss in sewers is 2.5-times the rate in more wealthy authorities, which indicates an inferior sewage system in the poorer areas.