COP26: Israeli PM Naftali Bennett Declares the tackling of Climate Change as a New National Security Interest of Israel

Ahead of the UN Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, today the cabinet approved a new plan to encourage climate Innovation, to develop technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for climate change. In addition, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett declared the tackling of climate change as a new national security interest of Israel and passed a number of practical resolutions on the matter, as part of the “100 Action Items” plan.

The Cabinet, today (Sunday, 24 October 2021), passed Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s, Energy Minister Karine Alharrar’s and Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg’s plan to cope with climate change. The plan encourages technological innovation in the fight against the climate crisis as well as the acceleration of infrastructure projects, as part of preparations for the climate crisis and removing impediments in the field of waste, recycling and energy.

In the framework of the plan, task forces will be established, chaired by the Prime Minister’s Office Director General, to advance the establishment and implementation of extensive projects of national importance in the field of infrastructures, in order to meet the targets for moving to a low-carbon economy for 2030 and 2050.

Ahead of COP26, Prime Minister Bennett presented new directives to tackle climate change in today’s cabinet meeting. Below are the new directives:

Top Goals of Israel’s new policy:

  1. Optimal preparation for situations of emergency and rapid adaptation.
  2. Maximizing Israel’s contribution to the global community, especially in the field of climate innovation.
  3. Advancing regional cooperation on climate change.
  4. Cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Main Points of the government directive:

  1. Response and readiness for the climate crisis will be a new addition to Israel’s national security agenda and will be be addressed in Israel’s strategic planning process, as well as serve as a new reference scenario for the Home Front.
  • Improving national preparedness for coping with emergencies stemming from the climate crisis: wildfires and extreme winter conditions – this requires special attention on a national level considering that these are areas that Israel is exceptionally vulnerable to.
  • The security establishment will prepare for the impacts of the climate crisis and the IDF will prepare in terms of technology, equipment and human resources.
  1. Israeli innovation will be leveraged to serve the global community and help provide solutions for global problems regarding the climate crisis:
  • Maximizing opportunities to strengthen Israel’s economy, technology and production in the field of climate innovation.
  • Promoting regional cooperation for adapting and taking advantage of economic and technological opportunities in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Basin and the Middle East that will help regional stability.
  1. Israel’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with international charters and as part of the global effort, based on intra-governmental work.

A national implementation plan of “100 Action Items” was presented to the government today, comprising of 100 steps for coping with the climate crisis. As part of this plan, the following four resolutions were passed today:

  1. A resolution on an energy-streamlining program for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (725 million NIS to support industry, commerce and local government);
  2. A resolution on clean, low-carbon transportation, a considerable shift to using public transportation and the electrification of public transportation.
  3. A resolution to accelerate building infrastructures, with a focus on removing obstacles to renewable energy.
  4. A resolution to encourage technological innovation, which will help fight climate change through climate tech.


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