Israel could fall below its 2030 climate goals specified by the government, said an annual report issued by the country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection on Monday.
The report stated that the current pace to reduce greenhouse gases would result in a reduction of only about 12 percent in emissions by 2030 compared to the levels in 2015, much below the 27 percent target.
Inability to meet the climate goals will result in consequential deterioration to the economy, health, energy security, the environment, and Israel’s position in the world, it warned.
The reasons for the lagging pace are significant delays in the reduction plans, and the severe lack of budgets for their implementation, it explained. The report called on the government to immediately start a nationwide action to quickly close the gaps in order to meet the goals, especially the completion of climate legislation and the imposition of a carbon tax.
What is Climate Change and Its Goals?
Human activities that emit greenhouse gases, such as burning fossil fuels, clearing land and forests, and raising livestock, are the main drivers of climate change. Climate change is a large-scale, long-term change in the planet’s weather patterns and average temperatures. These changes make the Earth warmer than it would be naturally.
The global temperature has increased by about 1.1°C since the late 1800s, and the last decade was the hottest on record. Climate change has many harmful effects on the environment and human society, such as droughts, floods, fires, storms, sea level rise, melting ice, biodiversity loss, health risks, food insecurity, and displacement.
To avoid the worst impacts of climate change, scientists agree that we need to limit global warming to no more than 1.5°C. However, current policies are not enough to reach this target. We need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions drastically and rapidly and adapt to the changes that are already happening.
The goals of climate change vary depending on the perspective and the level of action.
At the global level, the main goal of climate change is to prevent dangerous disruption of the Earth’s climate system by cutting greenhouse gas emissions and boosting the resilience and adaptive capacity of human and natural systems. This goal is expressed in the Paris Agreement, which aims to keep the global temperature gradient in this century below 2 degrees Celsius while striving to limit it to 1.5 degrees. The Paris Agreement also sets a goal of achieving global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible and reaching a balance between emissions and removals in the second half of this century.
At the national level, the goals of climate change are defined by each country’s nationally determined contributions (NDCs), which are voluntary commitments. Achieving them requires collective action and cooperation at all levels, from local to global, and across all sectors, from public to private.