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Messages and call to action for politicians and Knesset members

In 2021, the World Health Organization stated that climate change poses the greatest health threat of the 21st century. The rise in temperatures constitutes one of the biggest perils to humanity and the environment, leading to intense heat waves, changes in rainfall patterns, more frequent droughts, storms, floods, fires and more, rising sea levels, changes in sea animals’ habitat conditions and a loss of biodiversity. All these phenomena are massively damaging to the population (both physically and mentally), tied to the outbreak of new diseases and the spreading of existing ones. “Vote Green” is a union of environmental organizations, professionals, top scientists and citizens that are working to address these crucial issues – to protect our existence, the health of the public, our way of life and nature in the state of Israel. 

Electorate Demands - Vote Green

  1. Creating a real preference for public transport that will alleviate traffic and tackle climate change.

    The transportation industry is the primary cause of air pollution in the state of Israel, accounting for roughly 25% of greenhouse gas emissions in the country. 92% of the population of Israel lives in cities, and as of 2018, private cars are responsible for 50% of emissions. Transitioning to efficient and high quality public transportation will cut CO2 emissions by 50%. Most organizations and experts recommend a transition to public transportation, as well as encouraging walking and bicycle riding (sustainable transport).

    Norms and goals should be established that promote the use of sustainable transport. This includes modifying traffic guidelines to focus on public transport, taxing private car use and incentivizing carpooling. In addition, public transportation plans should be held to the highest standards of efficiency and quality. Development plans that meet such standards should be preferred at the drawing board, and areas should be allocated for development where necessary. 
     

  2. A real preference for solar energy that will save money, decrease pollution and ensure energy security.

    The growth in population, together with the rise in the standard of living, result in a considerable increase in energy consumption and a dramatic rise in the burning of fossil fuels (coal, oil and gas). This human activity releases massive quantities of pollutants into the atmosphere (methane gas, for example). The existing policy of replacing the former coal-dependency with gas ignores the health and ecological damages involved and, equally, relies on an expensive and non-sustainable resource.

    We demand a managed transition to solar energy. Solar energy reduces air pollution, saves money and creates a plethora of new jobs. As opposed to power plants that take up considerable space, solar energy can be produced on rooftops, road intersections and on suitable farmland (without impinging on open spaces). Renewable energy in general, and solar energy specifically, can accelerate the development of the country’s periphery and drive technological innovation in the field of energy storage, transmission and managing demand. For security and safety reasons, distributed solar energy is preferable to the dependency on gas rigs
     

  3. Cultivating sustainable agriculture that will provide cheap and healthy food.
    Current agricultural practices used in Israel today (and worldwide) are exacerbating the ecological and climate crisis and eroding the land, which consequently threatens food security in the country. The extreme climate is expected to create food shortages and a rise in the price of basic goods all over the world. To ensure national security, protect against power struggles over food resources and develop resilience in the face of shortages that could harm all echelons of society, we must act to improve and preserve our ability to produce fresh and healthy food locally, with an emphasis on vegetables, legumes, fruit and grains. Guiding and incentivizing the use of regenerative agriculture will lead to healthier produce and also protect the earth - avoiding soil erosion and depletion and increasing carbon absorption.  
     

  4. Protecting green spaces and preserving the country’s landscapes so we have a place to breathe, walk and hike.

    The state of Israel has been blessed with a wealth of habitats, plants and animals thanks to its geographical location - a bridge between three continents. Israel’s nature has always been a major part of the people’s love and adoration towards the country.

    The state of nature is progressively deteriorating due to water pollution, waste and loss of open spaces as a result of unsustainable construction and development. Nature reserves, recreational sites and vacationing areas are crucial in maintaining an ecological system (water, vegetation and the animal kingdom) and help mitigate the climate crisis.

    We demand the preservation of open spaces and the rehabilitation of natural systems, establishing 30% of Israel’s water territory as aquatic nature reserves. In addition, natural habitats should be preserved, ecological corridors and biodiversity should be protected and rehabilitated, and reducing the consumption of animal protein should be encouraged.

Demands for the 25th Knesset - M.O.s to achieve the goals

  1. Pass a climate law that will reduce emissions by at least 50% by 2030 and lead to carbon neutrality by 2050 to prevent climate disaster (draughts, floods, insufferable heat waves), so we can live in a normal climate.
    *A law that allocates at least 1% of the yearly budget to infrastructure, transfer to renewable energy from production to consumption areas and a plan to move towards energy efficiency. This law should be formulated according to the principles of the emergency climate-ecological headquarters. 
     

  2. Stop the destruction of open spaces, as well as preserving land and marine habitats and ensuring the connectivity between the two; approving and budgeting a national plan to preserve biodiversity so that nature will be protected in Israel. 
    *Halting the conversion of open spaces by encouraging urban regeneration; deciding that the “hotmal” law will not be given further extension; protecting open spaces and farmland from additional construction.
     

  • Approve and budget the Ministry of Environmental Protection’s national action plan to preserve biodiversity, expected to be fully outlined by December 2022.

  • Improve connectivity by approving regional outline plans for ecological corridors, based on the Israel Nature and Parks Authority’s corridor map; Create a multi-year plan to budget and execute ecological passageways in all roads. 

  • Promote a systemic bill to prevent the invasion and settling of invasive species in Israel. 

  • Stop the subsidies and reforms that are harming biological diversity.

  • Rehabilitate the ecological systems, including streams - formulating a policy to promote the rehabilitation of habitats in Israel, with an emphasis on underrepresented habitats.

  • Declare 30% of Israel’s marine area (territorial waters) as aquatic reserves.

  • Promote a master plan to expand aquatic reserves in Israel’s exclusive economic zone.

  • Increase the representation of underrepresented ecological systems so they constitute 30% of protected areas on land.

  • Promote a budget to shut down the trawling fleet in Israel.

  • Financial support of “Geulat Karka” (redemption of the land) for areas that are critical to maintaining biological diversity and ecological connectivity.

  • Guide the Ministry of Energy, the Electricity Authority, the Israel Electric Corporation and Israel Nature and Parks Authority in preparing a long-term plan to adapt the existing electrical grid to a “green electrical grid” by protecting utility poles to prevent bird electrocution and marking powerlines to prevent bird collisions.

  • Promote the amendment of the law of wildlife protection to enable more efficient action against illegal pollution and hunting.

  • Promote government decisions to restore water to streams and rehabilitate aquatic habitats. 

  • Allocate budget to establish a network of urban nature sites.

 

3. A plan to take immediate economic-environmental steps to reduce the cost of living, encourage regenerative urban planning, green transport and sustainable consumption, to enable a sustainable economic and social existence for all citizens of the country.
 

  • Setting a goal of 65% modal split for all sustainable modes of transport, in a range of 55-75% in accordance with the mode of transport and the settlement’s characteristics (with an emphasis on public transport, walking and bicycling). This shall be achieved in accordance with the modal split document for sustainable transport in Israel, March 2022. 

  • Continue to promote meaningful projects to raise the quality, accessibility and efficiency of public transportation; complete legislation of the metro law; promote public transport lanes to replace existing lanes; accelerate the transition to a fleet of zero-emission buses.

  • Apply a metropolitan approach to planning and managing transport by establishing metropolitan authorities across the country, with an emphasis on the 4 major metropolitans: Gush Dan, Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and Haifa.

  • Renovate existing buildings so they meet the green construction standard (Israeli Standard 5281) ASAP.

 

4. Pass environmental and standardization laws to prevent air, land, water, shore and light pollution, protecting Israel’s national nature resources and preventing the continual contamination of the environment due to waste. This includes thorough treatment of Haifa Bay, so we can all breathe fresh air and live in a clean environment that doesn’t endanger our health.
 

  • Limit and minimize licenses of gas exploration and production. 

  • Minimize the damage caused by gas rig development in the ocean, among others, and use existing infrastructure as much as possible.

  • Promote emergency preparedness and expand environmental monitoring.

  • Significant promotion of renewable energy on land, giving clear preference to solar energy on rooftops and developing storage capabilities as an alternative to producing electricity from gas and other fossil fuels.

  • Alongside determined steps taken to meet the goals of renewable energy and efficient energy use, the natural gas quota that is stored for the Israeli economy must be raised to 40-50 years, together with a limit on export.

  • Continue to assess the potential of manufacturing electricity at sea (wind, waves, etc.)

  • Emission taxation: methane is the principal component of natural gas and is considered a greenhouse gas that is more potent than CO2. There is growing evidence of extensive methane leaks that occur throughout the production and conduction lifecycle. It would seem these additional emissions cancel out any reduction in emissions gained by transitioning from coal or liquid gas to natural gas, and may even exceed former levels of greenhouse emissions. To minimize emissions, carbon taxation on emissions and natural gas leaks must be implemented.

  • Prevent the continuous contamination of the environment from waste through advertising; Revise the weak “clean law” and enforce clean behavior and practices amongst the public. 

  • Promote the “clean law” (construction waste).

  • Enforce and expand the “Contaminator Pays” act in order to hold the polluters accountable and incentivize them to reduce the pollution caused by their activities.

  • Thoroughly address the pollutants in Haifa Bay.

  • Make a governmental decision not to extend the permit of the dead sea factories and require them to rehabilitate the dead sea as part of their obligations before the permit ends.

  • Holding businesses accountable to reporting their climate impacts and corporate responsibility. Instruct the Government Companies Authority to implement reporting duty of the companys' impact on biodiversity, as part of the reports submitted to the authority.