Has Bennett's government done enough to combat climate change? - poll

Israelis are extremely worried about the climate crisis and think the outgoing government has not done enough to combat it.

SOLDIERS CLEAN tar off Palmahim beach on Monday, following an offshore oil spill that drenched most of the Israeli coastline. (photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)
SOLDIERS CLEAN tar off Palmahim beach on Monday, following an offshore oil spill that drenched most of the Israeli coastline.
(photo credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH 90)

Two-thirds (66%) of Israelis believe the government led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has not done to protect the environment and combat climate change, a new poll conducted on the occasion of World Environment Day earlier in June found.

The poll, carried out by Geocartography polling institute and sponsored by Turkish electronics company Beko, found that most Israelis believe the outgoing government, which is set to become an interim government this week, should have done more to combat climate change during its 12 months in office.

Only 12% of respondents supported the government's actions against global warming, which includes a new wildfire response plan, while 22% said they do not know.

Israel is worried about climate change

According to the poll, Israelis are extremely worried about the climate crisis and its effects on humanity in the future.

When asked to what extent climate changes worries and distresses them, a total of 61% responded that they are either quite or very distressed by the climate crisis. 29% said they are not extremely worried while a tenth of all respondents said they are not worried at all.

 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MINISTER Tamar Zandberg speaks at the annual Jerusalem Conference of the 'Besheva' group in Jerusalem, on March 14, 2021 (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION MINISTER Tamar Zandberg speaks at the annual Jerusalem Conference of the 'Besheva' group in Jerusalem, on March 14, 2021 (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Israelis are mostly willing to pay more for eco-friendly products, the poll also found. Over half (55%) of respondents answered that, in principle, they would be prepared to pay a higher fee for ecologically-friendly products. While 45% said they 'believe' they will pay more for green products, only 10% committed to saying they will 'definitely' purchase eco-friendly products for a steeper price.

Despite that, 12% of respondents said they will definitely not purchase more expensive, green products and 35% said they will probably opt for the cheaper option, regardless of how friendly it is to the environment.

However, most of the Israeli public (72%) noted that, economic considerations aside, they would prefer to purchase the products of eco-friendly companies. 

So, what are Israelis doing for the environment?

As per the poll, the vast majority of Israelis take at least one action intended to limit waste and protect the environment. The poll found that 86% of Israelis do at least one eco-friendly act per day.

Israelis are most likely to limit their use of plastic utensils, the poll found, with 64% of respondents saying they have already cut down on the amount of plastic they use at home. This may have been influenced by Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman's reform to drop the use of disposable utensils in Israel by 40%.

Israelis are also likely to cut down on their use of water, with 58% saying they have already done so. Less than half (48%) state they regularly recycle their trash or conserve energy by using fewer electronics (44%).

More than one in ten Israelis (11%) stated they don't perform any action to protect the environment in their daily lives. While 75% of Israelis say they wish to do more, most seem to excuse their lack of action in various ways.

Almost half (47%) of those who said they wish to do more to protect the environment said they don't do so due to not having enough time. 44% said they cannot afford a more green lifestyle.

512 Israeli men and women over the age of 18 took part in the poll, which was carried out in May.