Serving as the first Vice President of the governing board of the European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (EUROSAI), Israel’s State Comptroller and Ombudsman, Matanyahu Englman, has initiated a side event at the Glasgow Climate Summit under the European Court of Audit (ECA). Titled Translating Climate Ambition Into Delivery, the side event will focus on the role of national audit institutions’ in driving policy change on climate issues and following up on their implementation.
The side event is unique in the history of the UN’s climate change conference, and constitutes a breakthrough in State Auditor Institutions’ involvement in and follow-up on governments’ actions to address the climate crisis. Englman noted, “The climate crisis is the 21st century’s greatest threat at the global scale. State audit institutions play a key role in monitoring government's efforts and in motivating them to take action to best prepare for its risks, which may involve every aspect of life.”
Last week, Englman published special audit report on National Climate Action by the Government of Israel. The 665-page document is the most comprehensive assessment of climate change ever to be prepared in Israel, presenting new information about the expected impact on all aspects of life in the country. Notably, the report also indicates organizational and functional gaps, which must be addressed by the government in order for the state to make the necessary perpetual shift to deal with the crisis.
Globally, climate change poses risks to the economy and to financial institutions, national infrastructure, ecosystems, at-risk populations, and more. Israel is no exception: According to the report, the increasing temperatures, declining precipitation, rising sea levels, and increased frequency of extreme weather events, may expose Israel to security, public health, electricity, water, and food supply risks. But for Israel, climate change also involves geostrategic risks in a range of areas, in light of the predicted food and water shortages in the Middle East. Yet alongside the challenges, the transition to renewable energy, especially solar power, may also present opportunities potential for regional collaborations in the region.
Englman has urged the Israeli government to implement pivotal reforms to cope with the climate crisis. His report emphasizes that the climate crisis is not an environmental issue – but rather, a multi-systemic problem requiring the enlistment of government bodies in a shared effort. The findings are in line with the government’s new action plan tackling climate change.
You are invited to attend the EUROSAI/ECA side event at COP-26 in Glasgow.