The Ministerial Committee on Legislation failed to advance the Climate Bill on Sunday due to opposition from several government ministries.
Instead, the committee ordered the government ministries to hold in-depth discussions this week. The committee will then reconvene next week to re-discuss the bill.
An affirmative vote by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation is required to advance the bill to the Knesset and make it law.
"We are determined to complete the legislation and pass a Climate Law by the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai" in November 2023, Environmental Protection Minister Idit Silman said. "This should be the mission and commitment of the government and the Knesset. Human-generated greenhouse gas emissions lead to unprecedented global warming, which will not be solved by setting low goals."
Silman added that Israel cannot afford not to meet the ambitious goals in the Climate Bill - reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% compared to 2015 by 2030 and becoming a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.
A previous Climate Bill set the 2030 goal at only a 27% reduction.
"It seems as if some government members do not believe that there is a climate crisis," Silman charged. "The commitment of the entire government is required to stand in line with the other developed countries of the world for the sake of public health and the environment."
Silman called a request by the Energy Ministry to take over handling the climate crisis illogical, since dirty fuels are among the leading causes of emissions. Instead, she said, “We will hold talks in the coming week to reach agreements.”
Israel is one of few without a Climate Law
Israel is one of only a few developed countries to have not enacted a Climate Law. US President Joe Biden has championed his country’s Climate Law. Moreover, over the weekend, the president signed an executive order that created a new Office of Environmental Justice within the White House Council on Environmental Quality.
Some 194 states, including Israel, and the European Union signed up to the 2015 Paris Agreement, committing to limit the increase in global warming to "well below 2°C," with a goal to keep it to 1.5°C by reducing emissions by 45% by 2030 and reaching net zero by 2050.
The United Nations has said that the world needs to catch up to meet the agreement's goals.
Tammy Gannot Rosenstreich, deputy executive director of Adam Teva V'Din, told the Jerusalem Post that Israel’s Climate Law is a "fundamental law."
"Israel is far behind the rest of the modern world regarding climate legislation and climate protections in general," she said.