Israel recorded its highest greenhouse gas emissions levels since 2012 last year, exceeding the baseline established by the Paris Agreement in 2015 for the first time, according to the latest report by the Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR).Contrary to the preceding two years, during which Israel successfully reduced emissions, 2022 saw a significant uptick, as emissions rose by 3.5% compared to the levels recorded in 2021.These statistics widen the gap between Israel and its international pledge to achieve a 27% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, relative to the 2015 baseline.“It is more people; it is that the economy is not behaving sustainably. It is the lack of quality public transportation and any public transportation on Shabbat,” PRTR coordinator Uri Shilhav told The Jerusalem Post.
The primary drivers behind this increase, as reported by PRTR, were:1 - Transportation: Emissions from the transportation sector surged, with an 11% rise in diesel consumption for transportation and a 4.5% increase in gasoline usage;2 - Fluorinated gases (F-gases): There was a 7% increase in the consumption of these man-made gases used in various industrial applications, contributing to the overall emissions growth.3 - Power Plants: Emissions from power plants also increased by 2%, mainly due to a 3.7% uptick in electricity production. While there was some growth in renewable energy adoption, more was needed to offset this increase, the report showed.Specifically, methane emissions reported to the PRTR increased by 8% in 2022 over 2021, primarily due to the increase in methane emissions from the Efeh, Talia and Dudai’m landfills and the rise in emissions from extensive wastewater treatment plants.In addition, there was a 2% increase in CO2 emissions from power plants in 2022.“In 2022, electricity production in Israel increased by 3.7%,” the report showed. “However, the rate of increase in electricity production from renewable energies was lower; therefore, electricity production from fuels increased by 1%. As a result, there was a 2% increase in carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The share of electricity production from renewable energies reached 9% of the total production.”
Will carbon taxation answer all of our emission problems?
The Environmental Protection Ministry said that the PRTR data underscores the immediate imperative for establishing a formal commitment to reduction targets through legislation that would empower all government ministries to propel national programs forward, utilizing economic instruments such as carbon taxation, the promotion of renewable energy, and the phased reduction of fossil fuel-powered vehicles.The ministry is already working on a series of critical measures to curb emissions. Among these initiatives, the ministry is working closely with the Prime Minister’s Office and other government ministries to advance the adoption of a Climate Law. This legislation would establish a framework for pricing greenhouse gas emissions, fostering a competitive, efficient, and environmentally responsible economy.However, the government has yet to agree on the terms of such a law and pass it to the Knesset.Moreover, while a pricing scheme for carbon, developed in partnership with the Finance Ministry, gained approval in 2021, it still needs to be passed by the Knesset.