International consultants to pave way for Israel's emissions reduction strategy

McKinsey hired to map emissions, recommend technological and behavioral changes.

gilad erdan great 224 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi [file])
gilad erdan great 224 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimksi [file])
The Environmental Protection Ministry has hired international consulting company McKinsey to map Israel's emissions sources and provide technological and behavioral recommendations for reduction, the ministry announced Wednesday. The report will form the basis of Israel's national emissions reduction strategy. McKinsey examined 250 emissions reduction technologies in 2007 and created the McKinsey Global Greenhouse Gas Abatement Cost Curve. The model will predict costs for emissions reduction across a variety of fields and suggest technological and behavioral adaptation solutions. The company will examine emissions from 10 different sectors: electricity, gas and oil, concrete, chemicals, other industries, transportation, building, waste, forests and agriculture. In Israel, electricity production generates just over half of emissions, with transportation accounting for another quarter. McKinsey developed the model based on internal knowledge and in consultation with international experts. It is a widely recognized tool for planning strategy. Israel will also utilize its own experts to provide input for the process after the report is tendered. Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) explained why McKinsey's report would be critical for the process. "For the first time, we will have a standard database accepted by all decision-makers upon which we can build a national emissions reduction strategy. I intend to recommend to the government that Israel adopt ambitious goals which will put the country on a par with the developed nations of the world. "Implementing the national plan will bring about a significant upgrade in how the country addresses environmental issues, because in order to reduce emissions, we need to reduce air pollution, increase use of public transportation, and significantly increase the percentage of waste that is recycled in Israel. Therefore, implementing the plan is an international interest but also a national interest," he said. The world is headed for highly significant climate talks in December in Copenhagen under the purview of the UN. It is very likely that the new protocol decided upon, to go into effect in 2012, will obligate Israel as well. Israel was not obligated under The Kyoto Protocol because of its status as a developing nation. However, Israel has embarked on a process of attempting to attain acceptance into the OECD, a move which would change its status in the eyes of the world. In addition, the OECD has set a goal of reducing 1990-level emissions by 20 percent by 2020, which Israel would have to achieve. McKinsey is expected to complete the report over the next two and half months. From there, Erdan will get a government decision setting emission reduction goals. After that, he and officials from within the government and outside experts will construct a national strategy. Erdan's efforts to get a government decision on reducing emissions could be challenging. Previous attempts by Knesset members to get a bill passed which would set out specific goals failed miserably, ending in a bill without mention of any specific goals at all. However, the looming talks at Copenhagen might work in the minister's favor.