Israel Announces Plan To Slash Carbon Emissions By 2050

(File Photo) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem on July 19, 2021. Gil COHEN-MAGEN / POOL / AFP

 

Israel will seek to drastically reduce its carbon emissions by 2050 to help combat the global climate crisis, the foreign ministry announced in a statement Friday.

The “revolutionary and historic decision” agreed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and several cabinet members will be put to a vote before Israel’s parliament on Sunday, it said.

“The Israeli government set to approve an unprecedented decision mandating that by the year 2050 Israel will move to a low carbon emissions economy, while dealing with the climate crisis that threatens all of humanity,” the statement added.

“In coordination with the Paris Agreement and Israel’s international climate commitments, and to prevent crossing the global warming threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius, Israel is committed to reaching the goal of zero carbon emissions by the year 2050,” it added.

The ministers for environmental protection, foreign affairs, finance, energy, transport, economy and interior are pushing for the initiative along with Bennett.

The move calls for reducing carbon emissions by at least 85 percent by 2050 compared to 2015 levels, with an intermediary target of 27 percent by 2030.

“This is the first time that the Israeli government set joint national goals to reduce carbon emissions and declare a national strategy to move to a clean, efficient and competitive economy, thus aligning Israel with the other developed countries in the global fight against the climate crisis,” the statement said.

Israel signed the 2015 Paris climate accord, pledging to keep its carbon emissions stable until 2030.

Its 2050 plan includes targets for a 96 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in transportation, 85 percent in the electricity sector and 92 percent in municipal waste.

China Launches Carbon Emissions Trading Scheme

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 22, 2016 shows smoke billowing from a chimney of the Shanghai Waigaoqiao Power Generator Company coal power plant in Shanghai. – China launched a delayed carbon trading system on February 1, 2021 that is designed to drive down emissions, as the world’s biggest polluter takes steps towards decarbonising its economy by 2060. (Photo by JOHANNES EISELE / AFP)

 

China launched a carbon trading system Monday designed to drive down emissions, as the world’s biggest polluter takes steps towards decarbonising its economy by 2060.

The scheme lets provincial governments set pollution caps for big-power businesses for the first time and allows firms to buy the right to pollute from others with a lower carbon footprint.

The programme, initially set to launch in 2017, is expected to drive down overall emissions by making it more costly for power companies to pollute.

The system is expected to eclipse that of the European Union to become the world’s largest emissions trading scheme (ETS).

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Official news agency Xinhua said rules for carbon emissions trading management came into effect Monday.

It reported that more than 2,200 power firms across the country — which emit over 26,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases a year — could now trade their emission quotas.

Beijing has pledged to peak emissions before 2030 and become carbon neutral 30 years later.

 

(FILES) This file photo taken on October 10, 2020 shows people crossing a road on a polluted day in Beijing. – China launched a delayed carbon trading system on February 1, 2021 that is designed to drive down emissions, as the world’s biggest polluter takes steps towards decarbonising its economy by 2060. (Photo by Greg Baker / AFP)

 

The ETS launches, however, as experts warn China is actually expanding its coal production — and after plans to curb emissions from seven other industries were pared back.

“China is pursuing ambitious build-up of zero-carbon energy and has set a long term goal to be carbon neutral (but) the carbon market in its current form just isn’t going to play much of a role in realizing these ambitions,” Lauri Myllyvirta, a lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, told AFP.

“It could become an important tool in the future, and very fast, if the government decides to give it teeth.”

Around 60 percent of power in China is still provided by coal, and its powerful industry lobby is expected to press hard for favourable carbon caps.

Zhang Jianyu, vice-president of the NGO Environmental Defense Fund China, warned the penalties for companies exceeding the emissions quota are also “too low to act as a deterrent”.

China’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 were estimated at 13.92 billion tonnes — about 29 percent of the world’s total.

New coal projects have also surged despite the pledge to drive down emissions.

Li Shuo, an energy expert at Greenpeace China, said that coal production is edging back to the levels seen between 2012-2014 when emissions peaked.

President Obama Set To Unveil Clean Power Plan

powerU.S President, Barack Obama, will unveil the final version of his plan to tackle greenhouse gases from coal-fired power plants.

The U.S President would on Monday, unveil what he had called “the biggest, most important step the US has ever taken” in tackling climate change.

The aim of the revised clean power plan is to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power stations by nearly a third within 15 years.

The measures would place significant emphasis on wind and solar power and other renewable energy sources.

However, opponents in the energy industry had vowed to fight the plan.

They said that President Obama had declared “a war on coal”. Power plants fired by coal provide more than a third of the US electricity supply.

The revised plan aims to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 32 per cent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

The regulation would also encourage an aggressive shift toward renewable energy away from coal-fired electricity, pushing utilities to invest even more heavily in wind and solar energy.

Industry groups and some lawmakers from states that have relied on coal-based energy had vowed to challenge the new requirements in the courts and through Congressional maneuvers, accusing the administration of a regulatory assault that would drive up energy prices.

The National Mining Association said on Sunday that it would seek to block the plan in federal court. “These (requirements) would burden Americans with increasingly high-costs for an essential service and a less reliable electric grid for delivering it,” said Hal Quinn, President of the NMA.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, which represents co-ops that deliver energy to poor rural communities, said the Clean Power Plan would raise electricity prices by at least 10 per cent, a rise that would be disproportionately felt by “the country’s most vulnerable populations.”