IHG believes that Israel’s current pursuit of a gas-based economy will anchor the country to dangerous and polluting energy for decades to come.
Israel is continuing to invest heavily in gas, with current plans for nearly 200 gas-fired facilities. The government has also approved continued oil and gas exploration despite the urgent call by climate experts worldwide to curb fossil-fuel emissions.
It is critical to understand that raw gas is no more “natural” than other fossil fuels. In fact, research has now shown that methane, the main component of gas, is over 80 times more powerful than CO2 at warming the earth (over a 20-year period).
Tackling the climate crisis is particularly critical for Israel and other Middle Eastern countries since this region represents a “global warming hotspot” where changes are occurring faster than global patterns.
Given Israel’s tiny dimensions – it is roughly 448 times smaller than the U.S and 25 times smaller than France – petrochemical malfunctions can widely impact Israel’s public and environment. For perspective, Deepwater Horizon, which contaminated 1,300 miles of shoreline, was 41 miles off the coast of Louisiana.
Our start-up nation has dozens of companies tackling climate change – including renewable energy production, storage and efficiency technologies. Israel can become a solar superpower, offering cleaner, safer and more economical energy solutions.
Leaning on gas blinds the eyes of Israel’s decision makers, preventing critical investments in environmental innovation. This 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 Israel’s fossil fuel resources.
Israel must quickly transition its economy to the large-scale use of renewable, clean energies, a strategy already pursued by numerous countries worldwide.
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