Tackling Climate Change: Panel Discussion at COP26 Initiated by Israel State Comptroller Places Emphasizes State Audit Institutions’ Role

The panel discussion was held in collaboration with other states’ comptrollers, including Britain and Latvia

Matanyahu Englman, Israel’s State Comptroller and Ombudsman, is as the first Vice President of the governing board of the European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (EUROSAI). In this capacity, he 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 constitutes a breakthrough in State Auditor Institutions’ involvement in and follow-up on governments’ actions to address the climate crisis. 

The side event, drew on insights from Supreme Audit Institutions’ work on the key issues that governments need to get right in order to achieve their climate ambitions, was unique in the history of the UN’s climate change conference. Three cases studies were discussed, from the European Court of Auditors (presented by Peter Welch, Director of Sustainable Use of Natural Resources at the ECA), Britain (presented by Katy Losse is an environment and climate change specialist at the UK's National Audit Office), and Israel. The latter was based on Englman’s recent special audit report on National Climate Action by the Government of Israel – the most comprehensive assessment of climate change ever to be prepared in the country, which presented new information about the expected impact on all aspects of life in the country. 

Englman noted, “The case studies presented by ECA, the UK, SAI Israel during our discussion emphasize that the climate crisis is a major challenge and threat, relevant to countries all over the world. The panel discussion highlighted themes of effective coordination, managing trade-offs and engaging the public, which are applicable to all countries looking to turn climate ambition into climate action. I see it our mission to encourage State Audit Institutions to continue monitoring governments actions asses the world preparedness to climate change, and use our knowledge and experience to asses and assist governments with dealing with emerging issues.”

Englman has urged the Israeli government to implement pivotal reforms to cope with the climate crisis. The report prepared by his office 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. In his concluding remarks at the COP26 side event, he said, “I believe that State Audit Institution must share knowledge and collaborate for achieving the State Audit goals and improve all aspects of life worldwide.”

State Comptroller and Ombudsman of Israel, Matanyahu Englman, with ​Janet Rogan, UK's Climate Ambassador in Africa and the middle east
State Comptroller and Ombudsman of Israel, Matanyahu Englman, ​with Roland Irklis,State Comptroller of Latvia