Historic signature: Israel joins global agreement to reduce coal use, pledges to stop coal use by 2030

Historic signature: Israel joins global agreement to reduce coal use, pledges to stop coal use by 2030
Historic signature: Israel joins global agreement to reduce coal use, pledges to stop coal use by 2030

Israel has signed onto the Powering Past Coal Alliance - a group of governments, businesses, and organizations around the world working to transition away from coal-powered electricity generation. Israel signed the PPCA document at COP 24 - the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. That meeting, which took place in Katowice, Poland from December 2nd to 14th, was aimed at making the Paris Climate Agreement operational in 2020.

The partners in the Powering Past Coal Alliance initiative have pledged to gradually reduce the production of electricity from coal and to support clean energy in government and corporate policies. The coalition supports the reduction of the use of coal in OECD countries by 2030 and the world by 2050. Israel joined more than 25 other countries when it signed the PPCA agreement. This commitment puts Israel in line with countries such as Canada, Britain, France, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Environmental Minister Zeev Elkin and Energy Minister Yuval Steinetz have been working together on policies over the past few years aimed at decreasing coal use, with the goal of reducing air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, and preventing related morbidity and mortality. As such, Israel has recently published a national energy plan to cease all use of coal by 2030, while maximizing renewable energy use. The remaining energy needs will be fueled by natural gas.

There has already been a 25% reduction in the production of electricity from coal, compared to 2015.

"From the moment I entered this position, I have undertaken the effort to reduce the use of coal and close the polluting [coal] units 1 through 4 in Hadera. The State of Israel has set ambitious targets for reducing the use of coal. This, in order to reduce air pollution, and to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets, as per our commitment under the Paris Agreement."

Environmental Protection Minister Zeev Elkin

"In recent years I have formulated a new energy policy that emphasizes the reduction of the use of coal, while maintaining the public health and energy security of the State of Israel. Since I took office, I have announced the closures of the coal plants in Hadera and Ashkelon, the cancellation of the construction of another coal plant, the dramatic reduction in the use of coal for electricity generation, and most importantly - the new 2030 plan to wean Israel from polluting energy in the fields of electricity, transportation, and industry. The Ministry of Energy is working to accelerate the introduction of clean and renewable energies into Israel, and will continue to take actions to reduce air pollution, for the benefit of the general public."

Energy Minister Dr. Yuval Steinetz

The PPCA initiative was launched by Canada and Britain at the 2017 climate conference in Bonn, Germany. Members of the PPCA have a unique opportunity to share knowledge and learn from each other's experiences and expertise. The ultimate goal is to stop coal use altogether and promote green growth.

This article was first published by the Israel Ministry of Environmental Protection.