Four years of facing the strongest forces of Israel’s economy and politics; years of persistence and determination, demonstrations, petitions, scientific reports, position papers, and legal action. And our efforts are bearing fruit.
Our achievements have made us one of Israel’s leading citizen organizations in the fields of energy, the environment, and public health. Together, we are realizing our vision of a safer, more equitable Israel.
This is a long-term challenge. But for our sake, our children, and theirs – we will not cease our efforts, which are already changing decades-old policies.
We’re moving mountains…
Influencing policy and public discourse
- Our leaders now routinely participate in parliament discussions on energy and the environment.
- Our CEO, Yoni Sappir, was asked to join the government committee targeting greenhouse gas reductions.
- We’re working to strengthen the commitments pledged in Israel’s (first) climate law.
- Following countless letters and meetings, the Ministry of Health has formulated a principled position on the health impact of energy projects that rejects gas-fired power plants and fracking-based energy initiatives.
- We now receive crucial coverage by leading TV, newspapers, and radio channels, including platforms that formerly denied coverage or did so unfavorably.
- We limited proposed regulatory changes that would obstruct enforcement against polluting factories. Specifically, the proposed Law of Fundamentals of Regulation threatened to create a ‘super-regulator’ body endangering the powers of ministries responsible for protecting diverse facets of our lives – from environmental protection to health, homeland security, and more. We were the first to bring this issue to the press and subsequently took part in advocacy efforts by a coalition of organizations to remove key powers proposed for this regulatory body.
- We helped restrict the ability of the Europe-Asia Pipeline Company (EAPC) to de facto implement the agreement signed with the United Arab Emirates to pipe oil to Europe through the Eilat Bay and Ashkelon’s Mediterranean port.
- We’re launching the first independent pollution monitoring system in Israel’s history, targeting pollution hotspots. The system will sample more pollutants, monitor more locations, and provide legally admissible data to penalize polluters.
- We launched a pilot program of our monitoring system in Haifa’s Bay, implementing a technology developed by America’s EPA. Our pilot testing found carcinogen violations even after the Ministry of Environment had closed several leaking tanks.
- Our advocacy efforts forced the Leviathan and Karish-Tanin gas rig operators to install radar systems for detecting and monitoring oil spills. We’re working to expand these demands to the Tamar rig.
- We created a citizen reporting system of odor and health hazards related to Israel’s gas and oil energy sector.
- The Ministry of Environment is expanding its pollution monitoring in Ashdod following our nationwide public activism.
- Our efforts pressured the Ministry of Energy to promote academic initiatives aimed at measuring Israel’s industrial methane emissions.
- The Ministry of Environment 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, emitting more carcinogens than all of Israel’s factories combined. This development means that pollution enforcement can finally be applied.
- Our efforts pressured the Ministry of Energy to appoint an international firm to investigate the Leviathan rig’s operations. The report revealed that one of the rig breakdowns could have caused widespread fatalities.
- We helped advance and strengthen the oil spill law following years of inaction. Known as The National Contingency Plan for Preparedness and Response to Combating Marine Oil Pollution, the law was first discussed in 1998! Our efforts will help secure budgeting to increase regional and national response spill exercises and fill the dwindling coffers of the Fund for the Prevention of Marine Pollution.
- We established the Fossil Free Israel Forum, which brings together green and other social organizations and experts working to transition Israel to renewable energies.
- Working with the Fossil Free Israel Forum, we helped bring about the country’s first fossil fuel-free stock index, featuring 112 of the biggest companies on the TA-125 Index. The forum’s efforts have already diverted millions of dollars to green funds.
- Cramim and Ofek investment houses committed to divest from fossil fuels, earning the green investor’s certificate created by the newly established Fossil Free Israel forum. Two other companies (Migdal and Altshular Shaham) pledged to transition gradually.
Changing School Curricula
And what's next?
Key remaining challenges include:
- Raising Israel’s 2030 renewable energy targets to at least 50%
- Legislation of a comprehensive and ambitious Climate Law
- Legislation of a Carbon Taxation Law
- Changing the Clean Air Law such that pollution monitoring will be performed by independent companies, reporting directly to the Ministry of Environment and paid for by the polluters
- Legislation that would divert funds from the citizens’ Sovereign Wealth Fund (accrued from Israel’s fossil fuel profits) to promote a low carbon economy
- Removing obstacles to renewable energy solutions: establishing a multi-authority inter-ministerial committee to deal with this, that would bridge the ministries of energy, environment, finance, agriculture and defense, as well as Israel’s Electric Authority, Planning Administration, and the Israel Land Authority
- Influencing Israel’s Electric Authority to pursue critical environmental goals
- Increasing the fines designated by the Clean Air Law such that they adequately reflect the damage to an individual and the environment and are also of significance to the polluter
- Budgeting the construction required to remove the petrochemical industry from Haifa’s Bay
Please help transition Israel to life-saving clean energy