Israel's cabinet unanimously approved a plan for reducing greenhouse gases and increasing energy efficiency to benefit the economy.
Government officials expect the cumulative benefit to Israel's economy would reach more than 30 billion shekels (US$8 billion), the finance, energy, environment and economy ministries said in a statement.
Under the plan, which follows last year’s United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris, Israel will grant NIS 500 million (US$133 million) in guarantees for loans to boost energy efficiency and NIS 300 million in grants for projects that will lead to efficiency in industry, the business sector and municipalities.
Israel has committed to cut per capita greenhouse gas emissions to 7.7 tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) by 2030. This represents a reduction of 26% over emissions in 2005. In addition, Israel is planning to create minimum requirements for the production of power from renewable sources and to remove barriers in the clean-tech industry.
Cabinet ministers said they would examine ways to lower the use of coal and encourage the transition to natural gas to lead to a substantial drop in air pollution. They also will study measures to help make transportation more efficient and cut travel times, while setting up a team to remove barriers to encourage Israel's clean-tech sector and give tax incentives to encourage the use of renewable energy and promote green building projects.