Can Israeli innovation help fight the climate crisis?

With the current climate crisis, Israeli and international companies were sent to look for technological solutions.

 A sign warns of extreme heat in Death Valley, California, US, July 11, 2021 (photo credit: REUTERS/BRIDGET BENNETT/FILE PHOTO)
A sign warns of extreme heat in Death Valley, California, US, July 11, 2021
(photo credit: REUTERS/BRIDGET BENNETT/FILE PHOTO)

The climate crisis and the extreme weather changes that have recently occurred in the USA and Europe are leading many international and Israeli companies to find technologies that will help mitigate problems due to extreme heat and drought, making the lives of citizens easier.

"Israeli innovation and creative thinking lead to effective solutions. This is how drip irrigation came to the world 56 years ago, which enables crop cultivation for the entire world's population under extreme conditions," said CEO Arnon Columbus of the InNegev technology incubator.

"In Israel, more than 93% of buildings are air-conditioned, while in Europe the average stands at a few percent in most countries, so in Israel, there’s no doubt that it’s possible to live well even in extreme conditions. But all this will probably not be enough in the foreseeable future, so certainly Israel must bring more and more 'good news,'" he claimed.

Columbus explained that tech innovations in the fields of climate are being examined, are growing and will likely bring various solutions to the crisis, starting with varieties of vegetables and fruits acclimated to extreme climates, continuing with technologies for creating water, purifying and treating brackish water and developing communities in isolated areas and ending with long-term forecasting systems based on multi-level information systems to identify and predict fires, a complete array of algorithms to analyze the behavior of the sea, water reservoirs for protection and alerts to risks arising from extreme sea conditions.

Thousands of Israeli youth protesting the climate crisis in Tel Aviv, March 19, 2021.  (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)Thousands of Israeli youth protesting the climate crisis in Tel Aviv, March 19, 2021. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Columbus added that the InNegev incubator decided to cooperate with the PLANETech organization and lead a significant event on the subject. 

“At the event, we’re presenting with the French energy company ENEL and with KKL - Jewish National Fund. We’ll examine and judge smart solutions presented to fight the global climate crisis,” he said.

Humanity is 'late to dealing with climate crisis'

Sherry Brunfeld, a senior investor in the NFX fund, also clarified: "Once again we received a burning reminder that humanity as a whole is terribly late when it comes to dealing with the climate crisis. What most of us will probably forget until the next wave is that in every round like this hundreds of people die, forests disappear and sea animals undergo mass mortality events. This insight is the main reason that pushed us to be the first general fund to announce that it’s going full force into investments in the climate sector in the FAST track for accelerated investment because of the urgent need to correct the injustice done to the planet."

Brunfeld pointed out that since the announcement more tech innovations have been announced, and despite a record investment of 2.2 billion dollars in Israel in the field and an increase of 57% from the previous year, it's still far from enough, especially after several years were lost in the crushing knockout in the battle between Trump and the Earth, who during his tenure canceled 125 environmental protection regulations.

Brunfeld mentions companies that engage in collaborative and circular economies as an intrinsic solution to the climate crisis

She stated, "That's why we were the first to invest in MOOV, the largest marketplace for used heavy equipment, or in companies that deal in space technologies like STOKE, which produces rockets from 100% recycled materials that can be used over and over again, and recently in promising Israeli food tech companies like Yo!egg, which produces eggs from 100% vegetable origin.”