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Netanyahu sets new climate, renewable energy targets for Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sets new, high targets for Israel on battling climate change; but can Israel really achieve these targets?
Motorists plough their vehicles through flooded streets after a winter storm hit the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv, on January 25, 2018.  / AFP PHOTO / - / Israel OUT        (Photo credit should read -/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participated Dec. 12 in the Climate Ambition Summit, organized by the British government. Marking five years to the Paris Climate Agreement, world leaders pledged during the online summit to fully transition by 2050 from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. Some of these countries, like Sweden, set their target date even earlier.

Netanyahu had participated in the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. At the time, Israel defined rather modest goals. The country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution stated it intended to achieve an economy-wide unconditional target of reducing its per capita greenhouse gas emissions to 7.7 ton carbon dioxide by 2030. Israel also set goals on renewable energy sources, efficient use of energy and shifting from private cars to public transportation. With that in mind, the targets set last week by Netanyahu are far more ambitious.

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