Poll by Society for Protection of Nature in Israel finds that majority of Israelis want new government to promote an environmental agenda

Billie Frenkel
Published: 01.22.13

A new survey by the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel found that an overwhelming majority of the public would like to see the new government promote an environmental agenda alongside its social one.

The poll, which surveyed 500 people ages 18 and over, found that 75.3% of the public thinks that environmental issues are pivotal to their quality of life and 71% believe it is important that Knesset members and minister vie to protect and improve the environment and reduce Israel’s carbon footprint.

According to the data, 25.4% of Israelis ages 18-34 rated the environment as a “very important issue”; 40.8% of Israelis ages 35-54 rated it as such and 53.9% of Israelis ages 55 and over concurred.

A geographical segmentation found that 49.1% of Israelis living in the north said the issue was very important; a sentiment echoed by 45.6% of those living in the south, 40.7% of those living in central Israel and 24.2% of those living in Jerusalem.

Some 75% of secular Israelis said that it was very important that the Knesset pursue green legislation. Some 83.6% of observant Jews and a staggering 92.1% of religious Jews agreed.

But it seems the public is relatively unhappy with the outgoing government’s green agenda.

According to the poll, only 6.3% of the public was pleased with the government’s environmental agenda. Twenty-two percent said they were “fairly satisfied” with government policies; while 32.4% rated them as “barely satisfactory” and 16.9% said they were unhappy with them altogether.

Some 39.4% of those polled said it was very important for them that the minister and Knesset members pursue environmental issues, and only 5.7% said that it did not matter to them.

Asked who they thought would be best suited to serve as the next environmental protection minister, 25% said that current minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) should retain his position; 6.4% said MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) should be named to the office, 4.8% favored MK Benny Begin (Likud) and 4.7% said they would like to see MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) be named the next environmental protection minister.

The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel said that while it was trying to ensure that the various parties make the environment a high priority on their agenda, the majority of them seem to push it aside.

Sharon Gilad contributed to this report