Comptroller: Israel Ill-prepared for Tackling Climate Change

Ahead of UN summit, State Comptroller says no plan exists to deal with greenhouse gases.

Israel has not implemented the basic actions necessary for dealing with climate change and lacks the professional capability to monitor climate change, according to a State Comptroller's report released Sunday ahead of the UN climate change conference that begins Monday in Copenhagen.

The report by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss addressed the subject of greenhouse gas emissions in Israel. According to it, the meteorological service responsible for observing climate change is not equipped for long-term monitoring, due to a lack of professional manpower and challenges in maintaining the network of meteorological centers.

Israel has also not formulated a national plan of action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report, which also says Israeli authorities have not gathered sufficient data to inspect and supervise the sources of emission.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in an interview published on Sunday that he was optimistic the Dec. 7-18 climate conference in the Danish capital would produce an agreement all member states would sign.

Delegates from 190 nations have descended on Copenhagen over the weekend for the UN climate change conference that starts on Monday and aims for a new global deal to replace provisions of the Kyoto Protocol expiring in 2012.

"I am very optimistic for Copenhagen," Ban said in an interview in the Danish daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende.

"We will get an agreement - and, I believe, that the agreement will be signed by all UN member states which is historic," Ban said.

"We have the right political spirit," Ban said. "All heads of state and government have the same goal - to prevent global warming."

How to act to achieve that goal remains to be determined, the South Korean secretary-general said.

World leaders coming to Copenhagen will try to reach a political agreement on how to combat climate change.

Last month, Denmark upgraded the Copenhagen conference by inviting the heads of state and government of all 192 UN member states, hoping to gain the political clout for a deal.

So far 105 world leaders have accepted the invitation, including U.S. President Barack Obama, Chinese leader Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.