By George Kurzom
intensive gas emissions as a result of Israeli bombardment on Gaza during the military aggression in 2014
Exclusive to Environment and Development Horizons:
Statistical data indicates trends of significant climate change. Global warming has manifested in Palestine in the form of the high temperatures in the central coastal region of Jaffa, Ramle along with the Negev –Beersheba; temperatures have risen a degree and a half Celsius during the last three decades.In the same period the temperatures of the northern and southern coasts - Ashdod and Gaza rose by three-quarters of degrees Celsius.
This increase may seem miniscule but compared with the average global warming in recent 100 years which is about 0.8 degrees Celsius, the rate of the temperature increase in Palestine is twice the international average for global warming.
The phenomenon of temperature change in Palestine is more than the global average. International researchers attribute warming in Palestine to the way average global warming is calculated. They ignore the huge increase in Israeli gas emissions during the last three decades, especially CO2.
Since 1990 the world is attempting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20% by 2020. Israel’s emissions will increase by 2025 by 10%
In spite of being a global nuclear power, Israel generates electricity by using rudimentary methods. Power stations burn coal which is dangerous and pollutes the Palestinian environment. Burning coal produces large amounts of pollutants that cause untreatable diseases and high mortality rates.The burning of coal for fuel contributes to global warming and thus accelerating the climatic change taking place in Palestine. The burning of coal constitutes about 60% of the total Israeli civilian gas emissions.
It has been forecasted that electricity consumption in Israel will double by 2025, thus doubling the amount of greenhouse gases emitted.
In Israel the amount of greenhouse gases emitted per person, per year is 12 tons which is more than the average per capita in European countries which is 10.5 tons.
In contrast, the estimated total share of Palestinian carbon dioxide in the West Bank and Gaza emissions is 1.03 tons / per capita per year.
The wars launched by Israel over the course of the past years, along with the offensive incursions and the daily military operations against the Palestinians and Lebanon has repercussions. These military activities and wars produced hundreds of millions of tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. The equivalent amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the Israeli military activities is the same amount emitted by millions of cars in the streets of Palestine and throughout the Arab world.
Fuel consumption since 2000 by the Israeli military machine is phenomenal. Starting since the Al-Aqsa Intifada in 2000, the July 2006 war against Lebanon, the genocidal wars against the Gaza Strip of 2008- 2009 ,2012 and 2014. The daily military operations of the Israeli occupation and its machinery in the Palestinian territories since 2000 consumed billions of liters of fuel.
Israeli military activities and the military industry in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and"Israel”, compounded with the Israeli power stations, constitute the greatest contributors to atmospheric pollution in Palestine. It is so great that there is no scale of comparison between the Israeli massive industries and weak Palestinian industries.
The scientific term- carbon footprint - is a scale to measure land area needed by an individual for life in a particular pattern, this means that the "carbon footprint is the demand on natural resources by human; while biological capacity represents the supply of these resources.
If we use the carbon footprint as an indicator to compare Israel with other countries regarding greenhouse gas emissions in the region; then we see that Israel has one of the largest carbon footprint in the world.
The global average of carbon footprint is 22 dunums per capita. We find that the United States leads with the carbon footprint at 95 dunums per capita, followed by Canada at 64, and in the third place is Israel with 53 per capita. The United States deficit in natural resources is 46 dunums per capita; while Israeli deficit is 49 dunums per capita. This will be the world's largest gap between the demand (carbon footprint) and the supply (biological capacity). The main reason for this deficit is the massive depletion by Israel of Palestinian natural resources such as land, water and other natural sources.
In contrast, total carbon footprint of the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the year 2013 was at 4.6 dunums per capita, while the total biological capacity of the West Bank and Gaza during the same year is 1.3 dunums per capita, bringing the Palestinian deficit to 3.3 dunums. The Palestinian deficit is also due to Israeli theft of natural resources.
Israel’s nuclear arsenal, is at least 300 nuclear warheads, and nuclear long-range missiles which threaten human existence and all forms of terrestrial, marine, plant and animal life.
Presumably Israel claims to be a leader in the field of renewable energy technology and has been working to market its technology in the Arab countries. Israel participated in the Renewable Energy Conference, which was held in Abu Dhabi in 2010. The truth is that Israel is lagging behind in renewable energy compared with other industrial countries. Israel in 2013 produced less than 2% of renewable energy for the consumption of electricity.
Translated by: Kefah Abukhdeir