ISRAEL HOME GUARDIANS - CITIZENS FOR SAFE 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 many 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. We were 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 enjoys broad support and is funded by the public alone. We became a non-profit association in August 2018.

Photo by Frank McKenna on Unsplash

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:

influencing policy

Our leaders now frequently attend government meetings on energy & the environment 

monitoring pollution

We’re launching the first independent air pollution monitor in Israel’s history

greening finance

We established the Fossil Free Israel Forum, which has already divested millions to green funds

changing curricula

We helped influence the Ministry of Education to add obligatory climate change curricula and remove materials benefitting the fossil fuel industry

reducing emissions

The Tamar rig operator was forced to invest $40 million in measures that reduced emissions by 98%

penalizing polluters

Chevron-Noble Energy was fined nearly 7 million NIS  for severe emissions to air and sea

Click here for in-depth coverage of our successes.

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, and terror, could severely endanger civilians and national infrastructures. 
  • Risks include power and desalination plant shutdowns, long-term beach closures, and unprecedented tourism losses. 
Photo: Inbal Ben-Yaakov

We're choosing yesterday's technologies

  • Israel’s energy sector remains reliant on fossil fuels, with renewables producing less than 10%. 
  • We continue to invest heavily in fossil fuels, with plans for more gas-fired facilities nationwide. Furthermore, the government has approved additional 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 especially 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.                                         

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 comparison, Israel’s entire Mediterranean shoreline is only 122 miles long and and its Tamar and Leviathan gas rigs are 14 and 6 miles offshore.

Expanding to a global perspective – Climate change represents an existential threat to our planet. Heatwaves, droughts, floods, superstorms, and apocalyptic wildfires are increasingly piling up astronomic losses and impacting ecosystems, health, and food and water supplies.

A flagship 2022 report warns that global greenhouse emissions must be reduced by 43% within eight
years to limit Earth’s warming to 1.5°C (2.7° F). Beyond this target, our planet’s climate is expected to spiral out of control.

 

WHAT WE'RE TARGETING

Israel must transition its economy to renewable energies, a strategy already pursued worldwide. Benefits – including environmental, health, security, and financial – will dramatically surpass fossil fuel profits.

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 hundreds of companies tackling climate change – including energy production and storage. Technological breakthroughs would place Israeli companies at the forefront of the international struggle to stabilize Earth’s climate. 

 

Which future will we choose?

Take Actin

Please help transition Israel to life-saving clean energy

Take Actin

Please help transition Israel to life-saving clean energy

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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