Therefore take great care that you do not damage and destroy my world, for if you do, there is no one to repair it after you.”

 

Ecclesiastes, 7:13

ISRAEL HOME GUARDIANS – CITIZENS FOR CLEAN ENERGY

Israel Home Guardians (Shomrei Habayit in Hebrew) is a volunteer organization seeking cleaner energy policies that protect Israel’s environment, public health, safety and economy. Our mission is driven by science and the understanding that safe energy is critical to a safer Israel and world. We are empowered by our determination to protect our home and future generations and by our numerous volunteers working tirelessly for change.

OUR SUCCESSES

After fours years of facing the strongest forces of Israel’s economy and politics, our achievements have made IHG a household name and one of Israel’s most prominent citizen organizations in the fields of energy, the environment and public health.  

Select accomplishments include:

We're launching the first independent air pollution monitor in Israel's history
We launched nationwide citizen reporting of oil & gas health & odor hazards
We established the Fossil Free Israel Forum, which has already helped divest millions of dollars to green funds
We helped create the country's first fossil fuel-free stock index
Chevron-Noble Energy was fined over 7 million NIS for emissions to air & sea
The Tamar rig operator was forced to invest 40$ million in measures that reduced emissions by 98%
Public pressure led the Ministry of Education to remove science curricula influenced to be favorable to the fossil fuel industry
Our experts now frequently attend Israel’s parliament discussions on energy and the environment
Yoni Sappir, our CEO, was asked to join the government committee targeting greenhouse gas reductions nationwide
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Click HERE for detailed IHG successes.

But extensive work remains. Here's why...

Israel’s energy sector remains almost entirely reliant on fossil fuels, with renewables producing less than 10% of our energy demands. Moreover, we continue to invest heavily in fossil fuels, with plans for nearly 200 additional gas-fired facilities and new oil and gas exploration initiatives, including in the Arava desert. This, despite Israel’s plentiful sun, hi-tech prowess and urgent calls by experts worldwide to curb emissions

In positive developments, Israel’s new Minister of Energy, Karin Elharrar, halted all offshore gas exploration and banned further land-based oil exploration. However, the gas ban is in place until the end of 2022 alone, and the oil ban excludes existing licenses, including in the Arava.

A fossil-fuel-based economy will anchor Israel to dangerous and polluting energy for decades. Malfunctions, including structural failures, earthquakes, war and acts of terror, could pose an acute danger to civilian populations and national infrastructures. Risks include mass ecosystem destruction, forced power and desalination plant shutdowns, long-term beach closures and unprecedented tourism losses.

Israel’s tiny dimensions make it especially vulnerable to petrochemical malfunctions. For perspective, at 22,000 square kilometers, Israel is roughly 448 times smaller than the U.S and 25 times smaller than France. The U.S. Deepwater Horizon spill was 41 miles off Louisiana and contaminated 1,300 miles of shoreline. In contrast, Israel’s entire Mediterranean coastline is only 122 miles long, and its Tamar and Leviathan gas rigs are 22 and 6 miles offshore.

Moreover, expanding to a global perspective — Earth’s average temperature has risen by about 1.1 degrees Celsius over the last 120 years, driven mainly by the burning of fossil fuels.

Research has shown that contrary to its branding as ‘clean’ and ‘natural,’ gas is a potent greenhouse fuel. It consists mainly of methane, which traps over 80 times more heat than CO2. Large amounts of methane also leak during gas extraction, processing and piping.  

A flagship 2022 UN report warns that we have reached a “now or never” situation, stressing that unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies to cut global emissions dramatically, the world will become uninhabitable.

Israel pledged to slash 27% of its fossil fuel emissions by 2030. However, its treasury and State Comptroller claim it has no chance of meeting this international commitment, which was already lower than other pledges. Moreover, Israel finally passed its first climate bill (in May 2022). But environmentalists describe it as a watered-down version of the proposed bill due to disagreements between the environment and finance ministries and call for a 45% emissions reduction instead of the only 27% proposed.  

Fossil fuel-based energy production: 
  • Will turn Israel into a country plagued by petrochemical pollution – of toxic air, drinking water, sea and soil   
  • Is incomprehensible given the global climate crisis driven by greenhouse gases
This is not the future we want for ourselves and our children

The Right Course -- Transition Israel to Alternative Energies

Tackling the climate crisis is particularly critical for Israel and other Middle Eastern and North African countries (the MENA region), where temperatures are warming up nearly twice as fast as the rest of the world. As a global warming hotspot, the region’s average temperatures could increase by 4 degrees Celsius by 2050, with some areas experiencing up to 200 days a year of 50 degree-Celsius scorchers. Reports, including by Nature, the Max Planck Institute and Israel’s Environment Ministry, warn that unless the global community urgently curbs emissions, a sweltering, water-starved region will trigger mass human migration, border tensions, crop damages, wildfires and more.

Our startup nation features dozens of companies tackling climate change – including renewable energy production and storage technologies. Israel must invest in cleantech and quickly transition its economy to the large-scale use of clean energies, a strategy already pursued by countries worldwide.

Moreover, leaning on fossil fuels blinds the eyes of Israel’s decision-makers, preventing critical investments in environmental innovation. This approach is fundamentally misguided since technological breakthroughs would place Israeli companies at the forefront of the international struggle to stabilize Earth’s climate. Benefits – including environmental, health, security and financial – would dramatically surpass the profits from fossil fuels.

“The government's decision to build a new network of private gas-fired power plants is inconsistent with current energy trends… negates Israel's international commitments on climate change … and creates a more vulnerable energy sector in the face of security risks.”

Excerpt from letter signed by 100 scientists, including Nobel and Israel Prize winners

BRINGING CHANGE

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Please help transition Israel to life-saving clean energy

Israel’s energy sector is almost entirely reliant on fossil fuels, with renewables producing less than 10% of our energy demands. This, despite Israel’s plentiful sun, hi-tech prowess, and the urgent call by experts worldwide to curb emissions

Moreover, Israel continues to invest heavily in fossil fuels, with plans for nearly 200 additional gas-fired facilities and new oil and gas exploration initiatives, including in the Arava desert.

In positive developments, Israel’s new Minister of Energy, Karin Elharrar, halted all offshore gas exploration and banned further land-based oil exploration. However, the gas ban is in place until the end of 2022 alone, and the oil ban excludes existing licenses, including in the Arava.

A fossil-fuel-based economy will anchor Israel to dangerous and polluting energy for decades to come. Malfunctions, including structural failures, earthquakes, war, and acts of terror, could pose acute danger to civilian populations and national infrastructures. Risks include mass ecosystem destruction, forced shutdowns of power and desalination plants, long-term beach closures, and unprecedented tourism losses.

Israel’s tiny dimensions make it especially vulnerable to petrochemical malfunctions. For perspective, at 22,000 square kilometers, Israel is roughly 448 times smaller than the U.S and 25 times smaller than France. The U.S. Deepwater Horizon spill was 41 miles off Louisiana and contaminated 1,300 miles of shoreline. In contrast, Israel’s entire Mediterranean coastline is only 122 miles long, and its Tamar and Leviathan gas rigs are 22 and 6 miles offshore.

Moreover, in relation to the global climate crisis — Earth’s average temperature has risen by about 1.1 degrees Celsius over the last 120 years, driven mainly by the burning of fossil fuels.

Research has now shown that contrary to its branding as ‘clean’ and ‘natural,’ gas is a potent greenhouse fuel. It consists mainly of methane, which traps over 80 times more heat than CO2. Large amounts of methane also leak during gas extraction, processing, and piping.  

A flagship 2022 UN report warns that we have reached a “now or never” situation, stressing that unless governments everywhere reassess their energy policies to cut global emissions dramatically, the world will become uninhabitable.

Israel pledged to slash 27% of its fossil fuel emissions by 2030. However, its treasury and State Comptroller claim it has no chance of meeting this international commitment, which was already lower than other pledges. Moreover, Israel finally passed its first climate bill (in May 2022). But environmentalists remain critical, describing it as a watered-down version of the proposed bill due to disagreements between the environment and finance ministries and calling for emissions to be cut by 45 percent by 2030 instead of the only 27% proposed.  

WHY, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN?

The photos say it all. 

Submitted by our supporters for a nature photography competition, they share moments of beauty & darkness, empowerment & challenge, laughter, loss, love. 

It’s why we’re here. And what we’re fighting for.

 Nationwide

And the time — as pollution costs to health and the environment are already appraised at NIS 31 billion annually — is now.

Read more

Media

Gas rigs are major polluters

Dr. Mike Adel, on I-24 news
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Is Israel burying its head in sand as climate change makes Mideast a hot mess?

The Times of Israel, March 11, 2021
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Israel to halt natural gas search, focus on renewable energy – Energy Minister

The Jerusalem Post, December 15, 2021
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As Israel bakes, climate study warns of floods

Reuters, May 11, 2021
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As the world turns away from oil, Israel still insists on searching for it

Ha’aretz, September 20, 2021
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Chevron shuts Tamar offshore gas platform as Hamas says it targeted facility Times of Israel, May 12, 202

Times of Israel, May 12, 2021
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Israel energy pipeline hit in Gaza rocket attack, sources say

Reuters, May 11, 2021
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Israel closes Mediterranean beaches after worst oil spill in its history

Haaretz, February 21, 2021
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Utter failure: Report blasts Israel's climate performance

Globes, October 27, 2021
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Heat Wave Grips Israel and the Climate Models Are Melting

Jerusalem Post, August 2, 2021
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No way Israel will meet its climate goals, Treasury officials admit

Ha’aretz, April 22, 2022
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