Climate change is a real danger. Israeli tech could help - editorial

Israel needs to raise its awareness and do whatever it can to stem the tide of climate change and global warming.

 People take part in a protest against climate change in Tel Aviv, Israel October 29, 2021.  (photo credit: REUTERS/CORINNA KERN)
People take part in a protest against climate change in Tel Aviv, Israel October 29, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/CORINNA KERN)

There is no way around it: Climate change is a real and present danger to our lives and the lives of future generations.

A Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday found that 75% of people across 19 developed countries believe that climate change is the biggest threat to humanity.

There are many legitimate reasons to be concerned over the climate crisis. This does not mean that everyone should be in a constant state of panic, but awareness is the key to action.

A study in April by Georgetown University found that pandemics may very well be the new norm as a result of climate change, just as an example of the impending concerns. Even simple aspects of our lives are in harm’s way – like wheat, the basis of so many foods (and for beer lovers, drinks) – as pests have grown more expansive with the rise in global temperatures and prey upon the popular crop.

There is an endless array of reasons to be concerned over the climate crisis, and those of us in Israel are not exempt from it.

Israeli animal rights activist Yael Gabay at the Bonn Climate Change Conference (credit: Plant Based Treaty)Israeli animal rights activist Yael Gabay at the Bonn Climate Change Conference (credit: Plant Based Treaty)

Are we doing enough? 

Studies have predicted that several beaches here will be flooded and even disappear by the end of the century as a result of rising sea levels.

Yet, according to the Pew poll results, Israelis are not very concerned about climate change. That’s a major problem, because we should all be concerned and aware of how critical this crisis is and what we can do to prevent an impending ecological disaster.

Thankfully, this is the Start-Up Nation and many Israeli start-ups and companies have taken on the responsibility of working on eco-tech to help save the planet. In fact, according to the Climate Tech report published by the Israel Innovation Authority, approximately 10% of Israeli hi-tech companies established between October 2020-2021 develop climate technologies.

Israeli lab-grown meat companies are advanced within their industry, for example. The red meat industry is one of the worst for the environment, but creating lab-grown meat would reduce the production of greenhouse gases involved in the classic meat industry.

Future Meat Technologies, MeaTech and Aleph Farms are just some of the Israeli companies dipping their toes in the cultured meat industry. Even larger companies such as Pluristem Therapeutics and Tnuva have joined the race to create meat and dairy products from animal cells.

Israel’s NAM Technology has developed Ecokor, a new heating and cooling system that will save up to 40% of electricity consumption and reduce pollution emissions by increasing the output of cooling systems while using the same amount of power consumption.

Even fundamentally, Israel is doing more. The cabinet approved a plan back in January to plant almost half a million trees throughout cities all over the country. The Innovation, Science and Technology Ministry and the Environmental Protection Ministry announced in July that they are working together to establish a “DeserTech” national knowledge center in the field of climate change with an emphasis on a desert environment.

This, right after the Meteorological Service of the Transport Ministry announced the establishment of a national climate calculation center, which will make it possible to predict in detail the impact of global warming on our region.

Despite Israel being so advanced technologically in the field, it’s staying mostly local. Most of the world’s largest global climate tech funds do not invest in Israel, according to the IIA. The issue isn’t recognition – in fact, Israel is largely recognized as the home of some very promising eco-tech start-ups. A delegation of UN ambassadors visited the country in May to review Israeli technology focusing on climate and sustainability solutions.

Investors worldwide have seen the successes of Israel’s tech industry before, and it will surely come out on top again. If there is any advice we can give those looking to put their money in ecological technologies and in programs combating climate change, come see what Israel has to offer.

Israeli companies are doing their part in allowing the Earth to continue to thrive for many years to come. Now the rest of the country needs to raise its awareness and do whatever it can to stem the tide of climate change and global warming.