- Cities for climate protection initiative in Israel- assessing the impact of urban, economic, and socio-political factors on applicability of the program    click here to open paper content160 kb
by    Bass Specktor, Shiri & Rofe, Yodan & Tal, Alon | bassspec@bgu.ac.il   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
In 2008, 18 cities in Israel joined ICLEI's Cities for Climate Protection program. This study considers how urban characteristics and socio-political factors affect the applicability of the scheme and the implementation of GHG reduction strategies.
Abstract
In recent years the issue of climate protection and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction has become a central element in sustainability programs of local governments. Hundreds of municipalities around the world are currently participating in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Cities for Climate Protection campaign (CCP), while thousands more are engaged in similar projects.
In February 2008, eighteen of the largest cities in Israel have joined the CCP program and committed to reducing their GHG emissions to 20% below levels in the year 2000. The goal of this research is to examine how the general principles of the CCP initiative are translated into practice in the local arena of municipalities in Israel.
Focusing on the case study of the city of Beer-Sheva and comparing it to other cities in Israel of various typologies, this study considers how different urban characteristics and socio-political factors affect the applicability of the scheme and the implementation of GHG reduction strategies. The research is being conducted during the initial stages of the program's design and execution and therefore could offer a unique perspective of a local implementation model of the CCP initiative.
This research argues that the extensive population growth in Israel along with rising consumption of natural resources, will limit the ability of Israeli cities to meet their GHG emissions reduction goals. In addition, authorities relating to planning, infrastructure and environment largely remain in the hands of the central government rather than local municipalities. This limits the range of policies that cities in Israel could implement unilaterally. The implementation of substantial, long term policy measures, such as: local ''green building'' standards, long term urban planning, public transportation promotion and urban compactness hold promise, but will require greater political commitment at the local level alongside substantial leadership from Israelís governmental agencies.
Keywords
GHG reduction policy; local government; CCP; best practice
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