One of the biggest challenges facing humanity today is climate change. Climate scientists from all over the world confirm with a high level of certainty that the problem exists and will lead to severe consequences. From the already critical and growing problem of the lack in drinking water, to greenhouse gas emissions and more – the challenges are many. One way of dealing with climate change is developing technologies which will minimize our impact on the environment.
Israel is recognized as a technology powerhouse, with proven success in hi-tech, water and medicine. There are 350 cleantech companies active in Israel today, and this number is constantly growing. The Israeli government is taking steps to support the growth of the country’s cleantech industry, with an emphasis on the needs of combating climate change.
The Ministry of Economy has just completed a database of Israeli companies which offer Adaptation technologies to confront climate change, in the arenas of climate, waste, green building materials, agriculture and crisis management. The database was presented at the Warsaw Climate Change Conference, which has just wrapped up. Representatives from 190 countries attended the conference, which tried to advance global and U.N. initiatives to the climate change challenge.
The database of Israeli companies and adaptation technologies relevant to the climate change sphere was managed by Dr. David Assaf, who cooperated with the Israeli Association of Ecology in the Department of Environmental and Sustainability Development at the Ministry of Economy. This Department supports industry and economy with a view to environmental values. The Department also aids industry in meeting environmental regulations, and supports the development of the chemical and recycling industries.
“In Israel, as in the world over, we’re seeing a change in how industry and the government view the environment, and in the significance of supporting industry that is sustainable,” says Doron Abrahami, head of the Department of Environmental and Sustainability Development. “The goal of a constantly growing economy presents a challenge to the ability of the environment to withstand this growth. Today it is clear that industry needs to function in a sustainable fashion.”
In the past few years Israel’s government has taken steps to come up to par with the world’s leading countries in environmental regulations including putting into effect laws such as: the Law for Tire Recycling, the Clean Air Law, the Law for the Prevention of Asbestos Harm and the Law for the Control of Pollutants. These new regulations are part of Israel’s actions to meet its commitments after having been accepted into the OECD, and have had a major impact on Israel’s industry.
But Israel’s government has gone beyond merely meeting obligations where sustainability is concerned. The Ministries of Economy and Environmental Protection have developed tools to aid industry in becoming environmentally sustainable, together with the Association for Small Businesses, the Investment Center, Administration of Local Development and the Chief Scientist. These tools are meant to advance the environmental agenda in industry, and to aid industry to meet the new environmental regulations. Israel’s industry, in turn, has invested unprecedented sums in the billions of NIS to meet the new environmental regulations.
To view the database of Israeli companies click here.
View UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres’ briefing to the media on the outcomes of the Warsaw Climate Change Conference: