Climate Action

SDG 13 -Climate Crisis: “Collective Suicide”

Signs of the ongoing tragic deterioration of our planet are all around us; no need for much of an effort to see them. So all we can say about the fact that it’s been two months since our last post on environmental issues is: totally inexcusable.

Fires raging the world over are just one example. In addition to its own summer blazes, Israel faces other ongoing and seasonal environmental challenges – such as the appearance of irregular swarms of jellyfish along its shores, attributed by authorities to our own activities: ocean pollution, disruption of the marine food chain and of course climate change.

Painful to admit, but it appears the UN Secretary General was right when he recently stated that humanity faces “collective suicide” over the climate crisis. Not a joke.

Climate Crisis: "Collective Suicide" - SDG 13 - Social Impact Israel
@Michael Giladi/Flash90

The trans-national threat of climate change is clear. It was very much a part of the recent visit to Israel by the President of the United States, when the two countries launched an advanced technologies strategic dialogue that will include a focus on the climate crisis. A week later, the Inter-American Development Bank announced it was partnering with Israel “to empower climate-smart agribusinesses in Latin America and the Caribbean.” 

Israel can no doubt make an important contribution to global efforts in the climate crisis; at a recent conference in the country, a senior UN official said as much with regard to developing carbon capture tech. But while international cooperation is obviously important, every country must also continue to put its own house in order.

So how does Israel currently fare in this context? Let’s see: the country recently decided on a significant investment in climate forecast technology; approved the construction of additional wind turbines; added heat waves to its “threat map” (with a view to consolidating a relevant emergency program); and launched an effort to rehabilitate the Jordan River. But – and this is a big But – the outgoing Knesset (parliament) only managed to get the much-anticipated Climate Bill past its first reading before dispersal for new elections; since bills need to pass three readings to become law, Israel remains without a Climate Law.

Looks like a mixed bag. Everything’s relative, of course, when juxtaposed with the UN Secretary General’s “collective suicide” warning. Sigh.

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