Thousands March for Climate Action in Tel Aviv as Israel Vows Carbon Neutrality by 2050

Prime Minister Bennett pledges to lower Israel's net carbon emissions to zero by 2050 as thousands call on leaders to take action

Lee Yaron
Lee Yaron
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Climate protesters in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Friday.
Climate protesters in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv, Friday. Credit: Moti Milrod
Lee Yaron
Lee Yaron

Thousands demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Friday and pushed leaders to take action to fight climate change, ahead of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's visit to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow next week.

Participants in the largest rally in Israel thus far carried signs reading "There's no plant b“ and "don't toss away our future."

Demonstrators made their way to Rabin Square where the main rally took place. Last year's rally was cancelled due to coronavirus measures.

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Also Friday, Bennett pledged to lower Israel’s net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, according to an announcement from the premier's office.

Bennett is expected to showcase the plan in Glasgow next week.

The new plan still needs to be approved by the government, and Bennett will promote a vote on the plan upon his return.

Israel’s previous goal was 85 percent reduction by 2050. However, Bennett said last week in a cabinet meeting that he believed Israel could do better.

The announcement from the Prime Minister’s Office stated that he set this goal together with Energy Minister Karin Elharrar, whose ministry had vehemently opposed raising the target until now. Israel thus is finally on the same page with most countries in the world regarding their long-term climate goals.

At the same time, however, the prime minister didn’t declare a change in Israel’s interim target of 27 percent reduction by 2030, which is about half of the 50 to 55 percent that the United States and European countries have pledged.

“With the new goal, Israel aligns with the rest of developed countries which already act to achieve the goal of net-zero emissions," Bennett announcement said. "We take on this global challenge, produce technological solutions and contribute to achieve this important goal."

A group of senior Israeli rabbis urged Bennett on Friday to take action against climate change. 

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