Environmental issues are being kept on the sidelines of election campaign, but green groups offer series of new measures that the new government can implement to make Israel more eco-friendly

Billie Frenkel
Published: 01.16.13

New green-growth indices, green taxation and eco-friendly job offers – these are just some of the measures Israel’s green groups plan to submit to the new government, once the January 22 elections are decided.

Environmental issues were pushed to the sidelines in the short election campaign that will end next week, and several environmental groups plan to submit a brief detailing new, greener, policies for the government to implement.

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“Israel is dealing with a combination of economical, social and environmental crises,” the brief said. “Meeting them must be done on several levels if Israel is to produce a healthy economy, which reduces socioeconomically gaps and offers true, eco-friendly, quality of life; which is good for the citizen’s health, as well as their pocketbook.”

Embracing such practices, the brief said, “Fosters a wide, cross-over, point of view which goes beyond dealing with pollution, or simple ‘tree-hugging’ – is fosters a practical economical approach.”

The brief suggests formulating a series of indices, such as the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), imposing various taxes on companies that pollute water or land, creating a system of positive incentives to encourage industries to employ environmentally friendly practices.

It also suggests to mandate, by law, the need for environmental impact surveys, and for their costs to be factored into strategic budgets; as well as a complete overhaul to Israel’s public transportation system, via legislation, finding, acquisitions and urban planning.

The report also stresses the importance of government support in the green energy industry, saying that “The creation of independent energy source will ensure Israel’s resilience and stability in a time of security or an economical crisis.”

The brief further lists various measures to boost sustainable energy projects, ways to make the switch to natural gas and wind energy, the promotion of stricter green building codes; and suggests the formation of a national energy efficiency fund.