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Policy Makers

Israel is building a Knowledge Center on Green Growth

The challenge of achieving economic growth and development in the face of the limited carrying capacity of the environment has become increasingly apparent in recent year in Israel. In order to meet this challenge there is a need to develop Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) strategies.

As a country poor in natural resources, Israel is well acquainted with the challenge of doing more with less. In fact, scarcity of water, energy and land resources was an impetus for the development of cutting-edge technologies in Israel in a wide variety of fields, including water management, seawater desalination, desert agriculture and solar energy. Furthermore, as an island economy characterized by high population density and growth rates, Israel has recognized the necessity to decouple the destructive link between economic growth and environmental degradation and is forging ahead with a green growth agenda.

Advancing more sustainable patterns of consumption and production is not an unfamiliar challenge for Israel. Given their scarce natural resources, promoting sustainable consumption and production has long been an imperative in that country– and Israelis have become well acquainted with the challenge of doing more with less.

Moving toward sustainable consumption and production means decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation through technological innovation, eco-efficiency, and advances in information and communications technology

On a national level, numerous strategies have been promoted in Israel over the past decade to promote SCP. They include a Sustainable Development Plan in 2003, a Green Government program in 2009, a National Plan for Greenhouse Gas Reduction in 2010, a Green Growth Action Plan in 2011, a “Let’s Think Green? campaign in 2011, Indicators for Well-Being Sustainability and Resilience in 2013 and an Environmental Justice Strategy in 2014.

Israel, began to formulate its own national SCP roadmap. This was done under the guidance of an advisory team from the Israeli Ministries of Environmental Protection and Economy and based on a year-long scoping review process which included over 300 participants from all sectors. The roadmap was divided into three chapters:

1. Sustainable Production– Initiatives that give emphasis to the supply side (i.e., manufacturer or service provider).

2. Sustainable Consumption– Initiatives that give emphasis to the demand side (i.e., households or procurement).

3. Connecting the Dots – Initiatives that are positioned in the interface between sustainable production and sustainable consumption.

As part of the projects in the process of being developed by the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP) and the Ministry of Economy within the sustainable production chapter, which are in line with the insights found during the scoping missions, there is the planning of establishing a Knowledge Center on Green Growth.

The Knowledge Center on Green Growth is an open access to knowledge on pollution prevention at source, clean production and resource efficiency is imperative in order to promote sustainable production. The aim of such a center, which is currently in planning by the Ministries mentioned above, is to bring best environmental practices and ecoinnovation to industry in line with regulatory requirements. The center will assist industrial plants and businesses to comply with green licensing requirements, will create, compile and disseminate knowledge and tools on pollution prevention at source and environmental efficiency, will advance expertise on BATs in Israel, will facilitate professional networking among stakeholders, and will assist in recruiting the necessary funding for green growth initiatives

More stories coming soon on other actions and initiatives that are being developed under the Israel SCP roadmap. Don’t forget to check the policy-maker corner.