Israel pledges to cut 85% of its carbon emissions by 2050

Israel’s government has announced that it plans to slash 85% of its 2015 levels of carbon emissions by 2050.

Israel’s fight against climate change has seen a boost with the government announcing the country will cut 85% of its carbon emissions by the middle of the century.

Prime minister Naftali Bennett, who took office last month, said this step will help Israel gradually switch to a low-carbon economy. Among the targets of the emissions cut are eradicating 96% of greenhouse gas emissions from transport, 85% from the electricity sector and 92% from municipal waste, according to Israel’s foreign ministry.

Environmentalists and critics have, however, called for more ambitious targets for renewable energy and larger economic incentives to encourage change among the population.

But Bennett said the move would help transition to a “clean, efficient and competitive economy”, putting Israel at the forefront of the battle against climate change. Such moves are needed by governments of countries across the globe as the world faces continuous rises in temperature.

The planet is already 1.2°C warmer than pre-industrial levels. Israel’s targets are in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change, which aims to keep global temperatures below 2°C above pre-industrial levels — ideally 1.5°C above pre-industrial temperatures.

Under the Paris climate deal, Israel has set itself an interim goal of cutting its emissions by 27% by 2030. This would mean it aims to slash the remaining 58% of its promised 85% in 20 years.

“We set significant goals, we met our international commitment on time, and most importantly, we mobilised the entire government,” said environmental protection minister Tamar Zandberg.

In a statement, the foreign ministry said: “This is the first time that the Israeli government set joint national goals to reduce carbon emissions and declared a national strategy to move to a clean, efficient and competitive economy, thus aligning Israel with the other developed countries in the global fight against the climate crisis.”

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