SDG 13 -Battle vs Climate Crisis Already Lost?
In our previous post about the climate crisis we highlighted the UN Secretary General’s warning that humanity is moving toward “collective suicide.” Since then, evidence on the ground has reinforced his dire warning.
The visuals from around the world these past few weeks are just unbearable: wildfires, rivers drying up, desertification, grazing land disappearing, leaves changing abnormally, unseasonal flooding, melting glaciers, animals with nowhere to go. There is no summer vacation from this catastrophe.
Seems like advancing SDG13 (climate action) is rapidly becoming mission impossible. Still, cannot give up hope – what alternative is there? – and so the international community perseveres; it’s passing laws, allocating budgets, raising awareness. In a few weeks’ time, the UN will also resume activities at its New York headquarters and continue the past year’s work dedicated to “Securing the Well-Being of People and Planet.” The highlight of this global activity will be the November UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, where humanity will try to steer away from the ominous “collective suicide.”
Israel will also be a part of that, of course, hoping to contribute the unique knowhow it has developed over the years especially in the fields of water innovation – where the country is a recognized world leader – as well as agricultural technology and combating desertification.
While it joins forces in this common struggle, Israel continues to also deal with climate challenges at home. Some of its activities in this context focus on advancing cooperative and enforcement work with local municipalities – including in the Arab community as part of the 30-billion shekel, five-year empowerment plan. In this context, half of a new 12.4 million shekel tender is designated specifically for Arab municipalities – guaranteeing that environmental justice efforts continue.
The way forward for Israel is of course as complicated as it is for the international community in general. What should it do, for instance, with regard to mandating solar panel installation on home roofs? Or when it comes to private-jet use by wealthy Israelis? What about the impact of a huge mineral extraction company on water use? The challenges are never-ending.
All of this can be overwhelming. But then there are those moments that restore optimism; for instance, when an Israeli firm gets a shout-out for technology that measures carbon absorption on land; or when the Israeli actress Niv Sultan, of the “Tehran” TV series fame, appears in an Environmental Protection Ministry campaign (Hebrew) against disposable plastic use. Way to go!
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