State Comptroller Matanyahu Engelman today (Thursday, July 7, 2022) attended the 50th annual conference on science and the environment Expo Tel Aviv. In his remarks, the Comptroller referred to the audit published by him this week on disposal and burial of waste and said: “Governments have turned the south into Israel’s garbage bin” In the audit it was found that about 70% of the waste produced in Israel is buried in the south. In 2020, from the total of 4.66 million tons of waste buried in Israel, 3.15 million were buried in the south. Comptroller Engelman noted that aside from the injustice to the south, this means that garbage trucks travel hundreds of kilometers on the roads with all of the implications involved.
Furthermore, the Comptroller referred to government action to protect the environment, criticizing its removal of the proposal to establish a national climate center from the agenda. He stated that “in the audit we published in 2021 it was found that in the Ministry of Environmental Protection there are only four employees dealing in deployment for the world’s greatest crisis, in addition to their regular jobs. The climate crisis is an existing reality and disaster will hit us in Israel as well, much sooner than we may think. This week we experienced a disaster in the Italian Alps, in which people died as a result of the climate crisis. We are currently experiencing swarms of jellyfish arriving these days due to the warming of the sea. They are liable to harm the drinking water of citizens of Israel, most of which is produced in desalination plants. Nevertheless, this week the government removed from its agenda a proposal to establish a national climate center, one of the recommendations of the Comptroller’s report. And I ask: Why?
The State of Israel has a practice of establishing inquiry committees in wake of disasters. I wish to ask: Why not prevent the disasters.
The government is faced with a challenge involving both questions of risk management on the national level and the need to outline a path leading to a low-carbon economy, green growth, and transition to renewable energy on the one hand, and optimal deployment for the risks caused by climate change to humans, infrastructure, and nature on the other hand.
I call on the government to adopt all of the recommendations of the audit report on the climate, and promptly establish a national climate center. Of this it is said: Last in deed, but in thought - prime.”
To read the audit report:
The Israeli government’s action and its deployment for the climate crisis