Ezra: We're drafting greenhouse gas plan

Proposal includes goals for greenhouse gases reductions, assessments of the damage from global warming.

gideon ezra 298 88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
gideon ezra 298 88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
Environmental Protection Minister Gideon Ezra told the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday that his ministry was drawing up a national plan to reduce greenhouse gases and to assess the threat from global warming. The proposal would set greenhouse gases reduction goals for all sectors by 2020, assess the damage from global warming and how Israel would prepare for it, and support Israeli research and development to combat it. Top ministry officials told the cabinet that global warming was caused by factors such as burning gas and industrial growth. Because of the phenomenon, Israel could see such rising temperatures and sea levels, an increase in extreme weather, and populations endangered by lack of water, food and geopolitical unrest, the officials said. "Global warming is a threat to Israel and we are preparing to assess the level of damage it could cause and how we can deal with it. In addition, this is an opportunity to advance Israeli technological developments. Just as we did in the field of water technology, it is up to us to lead in the field of green technology and energy efficiency," Ezra said. He also said his ministry was currently pushing through the Clean Air Bill, which would vastly improve the country's ability to deal with pollution hot spots such as transportation and industry. Environmental Protection Ministry deputy director-general Dr. Yossi Inbar predicted that Israel would have to bring its emissions and policies to reduce them in line with global efforts as part of future agreements, particularly because of its new status as an OECD member country. The Israel Union for Environmental Defense (Adam, Teva, V'din) called on the government to announce specific goals rather than pass government resolutions without a plan. Union head Tzipi Iser-Itzik called on the ministers to adopt the goals for developed countries set out at the Bali Conference - to reduce greenhouse gases by 25 percent by 2020 and by half by 2050, as compared to 2000 levels. "If we want to start a serious process, we must bring ourselves in line with global goals and begin a series of steps, the first of which is to set an action plan to reduce emissions. We cannot continue to declare our commitment to the battle for the environment and at the same time claim dubious status as a developing nation, promote destructive plans such as building a coal-burning plant, and simultaneously prevent any steps being taken to make us more energy efficient," Iser-Itzik said.