Which Israeli party ranked most 'environment friendly' ahead of elections?

The Index found that the biggest improvement came from right-wing parties, with New Hope and Yamina putting together "impressive platforms" with no significant environmental activity beforehand."

President Reuven Rivlin visits cleanup efforts at Herziliya beach after oil spill (photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
President Reuven Rivlin visits cleanup efforts at Herziliya beach after oil spill
(photo credit: AMOS BEN-GERSHOM/GPO)
On Monday, the day before the election for Israel's 24th Knesset, the Vote Green organization launched its first-ever "Green Index," which evaluates and grades the environmental agendas and activities of political parties on a scale of 1-6.
Coming in first place (total positions 1-3) with a score of five, are Yair Lapid's Yesh Atid Party and Nitzan Horowitz's Meretz Party, along with former finance ministry director-general Yaron Zelekha's Economic Party, which has so far failed to clear the electoral threshold in polls.
In second place (4-6), Merav Michaeli's Labor Party, Gideon Sa'ar's New Hope Party and Naftali Bennett's Yamina Party all received a score of four.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud Party, which currently heads the Environmental Protection Ministry with Minister Gila Gamliel, along with Benny Gantz's Blue and White Party and Ayman Odeh's Joint List, were in third place (7-10) with three points.
On the lower end of the scale, Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beytenu, Bezalel Smotrich's Religious Zionist Party and Aryeh Deri's Shas all received two points (positions 11-13).
At the bottom of the list, with a score of one (14 and 15), are Mansour Abbas's Ra'am and Moshe Gafni's United Torah Judaism.
The index was developed by the Vote Green staff in collaboration with Youth for Climate, Shinui Kivun (Change of Direction), Green Course, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel and other entities.
Vote Green's head of staff and long-time environmental activist Victor Weiss was optimistic of the index, saying that "we can see a very positive change of trend in the current electoral campaign.
"For the first time, more and more parties have placed the climate crisis and the environmental issues as a central piece of their campaigns," he said.
As for the most improvement, Weiss said that "especially notable are the right-wing parties, which previously had no significant environmental activity, but have put together impressive platforms after studying the matter, and designated Knesset members to coordinate the issue on their behalf."
While the left-wing Meretz and Labor parties have previously performed consistently better than most other parties on environmental issues and both feature several environmental activists and impressive platforms, the two have not emphasized the issue during the current campaign as much as in previous ones.
VOTE GREEN said the index was determined as a result of an in-depth analysis of party platforms, public statements and parliamentary activities in the areas of climate, energy, nature, nutrition and agriculture, economics, urbanism, environmental education and waste, as well as water supply and sanitation.
In addition, the index also analyzed the amount of weight each party attributes to these issues, assessing the quality and magnitude of how they were expressed during the parties' respective election campaigns.
Ben Tick, co-founder of Vote Green, said that “The Green Index will constantly update and be a constant reminder to the parties of the actions they must take."
He added that "Once the parties realize there is an instrument evaluating them by their activity for the environment and for the climate, and that the votes of an enormous constituency will be affected by the Green Index, it will lead to policy change – and the politicians’ statements will be put into action.”
The numbers seem to back him up, as a survey by the Israel Democracy Institute found that 72% of the public believes that humanity is endangered due to climate change and global warming and that 76% of the public believes that the Israeli government must prepare for their effects.
Youth for Climate, which participated in designing the index, agreed with the sentiment, saying in a statement that “The climate crisis is the most important issue of our generation, the country’s youth. We ask every eligible voter to use the Green Index as an instrument and give the environmental issue the gravity it deserves on Election Day.
"Voting climate means to vote for life, for all of our lives. Nothing is more important than that,” the statement concluded.