Israel's Bennett to Attend UN Climate Conference in Glasgow at End of Month

The UN summit in Scotland is intended to motivate countries worldwide to act and halt the most severe effects of climate change, though, unlike dozens of countries, Israel has not yet declared a climate emergency

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Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, this month.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett speaks at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, this month.Credit: RONEN ZVULUN/ REUTERS
Lee Yaron
Lee Yaron

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will travel later this month to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, the Prime Minister's Office announced Friday.

Some 200 senior figures and leaders of countries from around the world will attend the conference, which is intended to motivate countries worldwide to act and halt the most severe effects of climate change.

During the conference, the 26th of its kind, Bennett will meet with world leaders and present Israel's initiatives for combatting climate change, the Prime Minister's Office said.

Bennett will be accompanied by Energy Minister Karine Elharrar and Environmental Protection Minister Tamar Zandberg. The summit is scheduled to take place between October 31 and November 12.

Israel will also be among the Middle Eastern countries to participate in two regional summits in 2022 to formulate a joint plan to tackle the climate crisis, sources in the Foreign Ministry and in Cyprus said Thursday. The Middle East is seen as particularly vulnerable to the negative impacts of climate change.

Firefighter and volunteers try to extinguish a fire in the village of Glatsona, Greece, in August.Credit: ANGELOS TZORTZINIS / AFP

Dozens of countries have declared a climate emergency, but Israel is not one of them. The government has not yet passed a climate law that would accelerate preparations for climate disasters and Israel has set a target for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions that is lower than other developed nations: A reduction of 27 percent by 2030 and 85 percent by 2050, compared to 50 percent and 100 percent, respectively, in the United States, for example.

Israel therefore will be attending the conference with no binding climate law, no carbon tax, no declaration of climate emergency, and no significant plan to deal with the effects of climate crisis. 

Government sources told Haaretz that the Bennett's office and the Environmental Protection Ministry are working hard in the coming days to approve new climate commitments ahead of the trip, so as to not show up in Glasgow empty-handed. 

The world has heated up by 1.1 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial age, and scientists agree that unless humanity reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent by 2030, the world will cross the 1.5 degree threshold, which would make it impossible to avoid the worst effects.

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