Three years of facing the strongest forces of Israel’s economy and politics; years persistence and determination, of demonstrations, petitions, position papers and legal action – and our efforts are bearing significant fruit.
Our achievements in public outreach, protests, scientific research, lobbying, regulation and court petitions have made us one of Israel’s most prominent citizen organizations in the fields of energy, the environment and public health. Together, we are realizing our vision of reshaping Israel’s energy sector to be cleaner, safer, and more equitable.
It is clear to us that this is a long term challenge, but for our sake and that of our children and theirs – we will not cease our efforts, which are already changing decades-old policies!
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
— Margaret Mead
WE’RE MOVING MOUNTAINS!
- Public pressure and civil enforcement are what led the Ministry of Environmental Protection to carry out strict enforcement measures in Haifa’s Bay and Ashdod’s industrial zone – areas suffering greatly from Israel’s petrochemical industry; to impose multimillion-shekel fines on Chevron-Noble Energy for severe Leviathan rig emissions to air and sea; to make statements about the need for an Israeli “green new deal”; and to force Noble Energy to install a remote wastewater detection system.
- Public pressure and civil enforcement are what led the Ministry of Energy to double its renewable energy targets by 2030, limit the Leviathan rig’s activity, and appoint an international firm to investigate the rig’s operations. The report revealed that one of the rig malfunctions could have caused widespread fatalities.
- Public pressure and civil enforcement are what led the Ministry of Health to intervene in the shale oil mining of the Mishor Rotem Industrial Center near the southern city of Arad.
- Public pressure and civil enforcement are what led the Ministry of Education to remove the “Energy Championship” school program influenced by Noble Energy to contain messaging favorable to the fossil fuel industry.
Other key successes to date include:
- We established the Clean Energy Forum, which brings together green and other social organizations and experts nationwide working to ensure Israel’s rapid transition to renewable energies.
- Working with the Clean Energy Forum, we helped bring about Israel’s first fossil fuel-free stock index, featuring 112 of the biggest companies across all sectors on the TA-125 Index.
- We participated in Israel’s parliament committees on the following topics: target goals for renewable energies, gas-fired power plants, the Leviathan Gas Rig and Chevron’s entrance into Israel.
- We completed our crowdfunding campaign to launch the first independent monitoring system in Israel’s history. To advance this system, we appointed 3 leading scientists as members of the advisory board, set up a collaboration with a university body and a multi-disciplinary steering team; purchased two reports from the engineering consulting company Ramboll and presented our plans to the Ministry of Environment, from whom we received support and encouragement.
In 2020, the Environment Ministry officially announced that it opposes the construction of gas-fired power plants and recommends replacing them with solar facilities. This occurred roughly a week after a request on this matter by our Clean Energy Forum. The Ministry of Energy later cancelled and delayed plans for several gas-fired power plants.
- We conducted independent monitoring near Haifa’s oil refineries, finding violations of carcinogenic pollutants, even after the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) had closed several leaking tanks.
- The MoEP is expanding its monitoring system in Ashdod following nationwide public activism that we helped create with other partners.
- The MoEP has finally issued an emissions permit for Israel’s (southern) Tamar rig, which operated without a permit for 7.5 years! Tamar was previously Israel’s most polluting factory, polluting more carcinogens than all of Israel’s factories combined. This development means that pollution enforcement can finally be applied.
- Following countless letters and meetings, the Ministry of Health has (for the first time) formulated a principled position on the health impact of energy projects that rejects the creation of fracking-based energy initiatives and gas-fired power plants.
- The media is now highly receptive to our positions and we have received crucial coverage by leading TV, newspapers, and radio channels, including by platforms that formerly denied coverage or did so unfavorably.
- We have improved our citizen reporting system of odor and health hazards related to Leviathan rig activity and breakdowns.
- We voiced our objection (through the Clean Energy Forum) to plans for an unnecessary gas and oil pipeline to Eilat
And what’s next?
Our key remaining challenges are:
- Raising Israel’s 2030 renewable energy targets to at least 50%.
- Restraining Chevron – which has entered Noble Energy’s shoes, both environmentally and financially.
- Curbing operations at the Leviathan Gas Rig until all shortcomings are fixed.
We will neither rest nor be silenced until we have achieved all our goals for the benefit of Israel’s public. Despite the challenging times, we are confident that you will stand by us as we continue our efforts – for us all, for our future, for our country, for our joint ability to turn this place into a life-supporting land, that respects the law as well as health of its residents.