ISRAEL HOME GUARDIANS - CITIZENS FOR CLEAN ENERGY
Israel Home Guardians (Shomrei Habayit in Hebrew) is a volunteer organization seeking cleaner energy production and enforcement. Our mission is driven by 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 STORY - FROM COASTLINE TO NATIONWIDE STRUGGLE
IHG formed in 2017 as a grassroots struggle against the Leviathan gas rig planned for only six miles off Israel’s northern coast. The struggle was galvanized by a 2016 report that the offshore Tamar rig, located 14 miles from the southern city of Ashdod, had emitted more than 30 times (!) the pollutants predicted. In fact, the rig had released more carcinogens than all of Israel’s power plants and factories combined.
Unfortunately, the nearshore Leviathan rig began operations in 2020. However, we refused to relinquish Israel’s citizens’ rights to a safe environment for today and future generations. Instead, we expanded our vision nationwide — to transition Israel to renewable energies, remove petrochemical facilities from population centers, and optimize pollution enforcement.
Today, IHG operates regional groups nationwide, enjoys broad support and is funded by the public alone. We became a non-profit association in August 2018.
WHAT WE'VE ACHIEVED
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.
Our successes include:
Our leaders now frequently attend parliament meetings on energy & the environment
We’re launching the first independent air pollution monitor in Israel’s history
We established the Fossil Free Israel Forum, which has already divested millions to green funds
The Tamar rig operator was forced to invest $40 million in measures that reduced emissions by 98%
WHY WE CARE
Our energy policies are dangerous
- 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 severe danger to civilians and national infrastructures.
- Risks include power and desalination plant shutdowns, long-term beach closures, and unprecedented tourism losses.
We're choosing yesterday's technologies
- Israel’s energy sector remains almost entirely reliant on fossil fuels, with renewables producing less than 10% of our energy demands.
- We continue to invest heavily in fossil fuels, with plans for more gas-fired facilities and oil and gas exploration, including in the Arava desert. This, despite Israel’s plentiful sun, hi-tech prowess, and urgent calls worldwide to curb emissions.
We're a global warming hotspot
- Tackling the climate crisis is particularly critical for Israel and other Middle Eastern and North African countries (the ‘MENA’ region), where average temperatures are warming at twice the global rate.
- By 2050, some MENA areas will experience up to 200 days a year of 50C° scorchers.
- MENA is also the world’s most water-stressed region. Reports, including by Nature, the Max Planck Institute, and Israel’s Environment Ministry, warn that unless global emissions are widely reduced, a sweltering, water-starved region will trigger geopolitical tensions, mass human migration, crop damages, wildfires, and more.
We're more vulnerable
- 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 shoreline is only 122 miles long, and its Tamar and Leviathan gas rigs are 14 and 6 miles offshore.
THE RIGHT COURSE: TRANSITION ISRAEL TO GREEN ENERGY
Israel finally passed its first climate bill in May 2022 and pledged to slash 27% of its emissions by 2030. However, critics call for a 45% reduction, and our State Comptroller claims we have no chance of meeting even the existing commitment.
Leaning on fossil fuels blinds the eyes of Israel’s decision-makers, preventing critical investments in environmental innovation. This approach is fundamentally misguided. Our startup nation features numerous companies tackling climate change – including renewable energy production and storage. Technological breakthroughs would place Israeli companies at the forefront of the international struggle to stabilize Earth’s climate.
Israel must invest in cleantech and quickly transition its economy to clean energies, a strategy already pursued worldwide. Benefits – including environmental, health, security, and financial – will dramatically surpass fossil fuel profits.
Please help transition Israel to life-saving clean energy