Climate Change and Israeli Policy

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The Heinrich Boell Stiftung has defined the issue of climate change and sustainable development as being central to its work internationally, both in the areas of mitigation and adaptation. It advocates and advances an agenda for development rights for developing nations and contributes to seeking solutions in many international forums while at the same time, adapts its work to the specific context of each of its 28 offices around the world.

Israel (and the region) finds itself in the middle of its fifth year of drought with little being done in the area of water management or energy conservation. With no adaptation policies in place, increased desertification will bring acute challenges that can impact regional security in the years and decades to come. The government of Israel has yet to define its energy policy and make binding commitments to lower its greenhouse gas emissions. HBS works with its NGO partners in the areas of research and policy development, advocacy and engagement with decision makers on the political level, coalition and capacity building.

At the 2007 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali, NGOs realized there is a great need to educate decision-makers in Israel about climate science, policy options for mitigation and adaptation, the international negotiations process and procedures, and more.  Since that time, numerous stakeholders have reiterated that this need is paramount. 

In 2008, HBS funded the development of a comprehensive climate change handbook in Hebrew that was implemented by Friends of the Earth Middle East. FoEME adapted existing materials and researched and updated data relevant for Israel and the region.

To maximize the benefit and effectiveness of the resource guide, FoEME will conduct five in-depth training workshops during 2009 to educate Members of Knesset (The Israeli Parliament), staff at government ministries, NGOs, the media, and the Forum 15 – a forum of mayors from independent municipalities around the country who have signed on to a climate protection pact as part of ICLEI. These proposed workshops will provide the opportunity for stakeholders to explore the climate resource guide materials in greater depth and interact with climate experts to better understand the issues.  Through this process, this tool will further enhance the capacity of decision-makers and those that influence decision-making.  The goal is that the policy makers ultimately will enact policies, legislation, and participate more fully in the international process with respect to addressing climate change.  The project aims primarily to educate potential change agents identified in each stakeholder group on the scientific, socioeconomic and security aspects of climate change to better inform and influence policy making on this topic. 

Climate Change: A New Threat to Middle East Security, article by FoEME, December 2007 (English, PDF, 22 pages, 57 kB)