Comprehensive coverage

In the decade 2010-2019, the number of reports of natural disasters increased 4.5 times compared to the decade of the seventies because of the climate crisis

This is according to the introductory chapter of the special report dedicated to Israel's preparation for the climate crisis. A chapter explaining what the climate crisis is, and how the world is preparing for it

The Earth's climate has been affected for hundreds of millions of years by the amount of solar radiation that reaches the Earth's surface through the mantle of gases that make up the atmosphere and include greenhouse gases[1] (hereinafter - GAZH) and the amount of radiation that is emitted from it into space.

The sun's radiation penetrates through these gases - part of it is absorbed by the earth and part is emitted from it. Due to human activity, which causes an increased emission of greenhouse gases (hereafter - anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions), the concentration of these gases increases in the atmosphere around the earth and causes the atmosphere to become more opaque to the radiation that seeks to be emitted from the earth into space. This radiation, which is not emitted into space, is converted into heat energy which causes the heating of the atmosphere and the increase in global temperature. This process is known as the "greenhouse effect", and is one of the main factors that creates the physical conditions on Earth that ultimately lead to climate change.

Figure 1 Illustration of the greenhouse effect. From the State Comptroller's report on dealing with the climate crisis, March 2023
Figure 1 Illustration of the greenhouse effect. From the State Comptroller's report on dealing with the climate crisis, March 2023, according to the data of the Ministry of Environmental Protection, processed by the State Comptroller's Office

Climate change has four main effects: temperature increase, precipitation reduction, sea level rise and increase in the frequency of extreme weather events. These effects are manifested in human and natural systems, and are related to social, economic and demographic pressures. Also, climate change may harm human health due to its sensitivity to extreme weather conditions and due to the spread of infectious diseases due to these conditions.

Below in charts are data regarding the number of disasters related to the weather, climate change and extreme water events (hereafter - natural disasters) and their results, from an atlas published by the International Meteorological Organization (hereafter - WMO) on mortality and economic damages due to these disasters in the years 1970 to 2019[2]:

Charts 2 and 3 from the State Comptroller's report on the climate crisis. Source WMO
Charts 2 and 3 from the State Comptroller's report on the climate crisis. Source WMO

From the charts above and additional data from the WMO, it appears that in the years 1970 to 2019, 11,072 natural disasters were reported in the world, and that there is a general trend of an increase in these reports from decade to decade (except for the decade from 2010 to 2019, when the number of reports decreased by 370). It also shows that in the decade from 2010 to 2019, the number of reports of natural disasters increased four and a half times compared to the decade of the 38s. Most of the deaths from these disasters were caused by tropical cyclones (34%), droughts (8%) and heat waves (38%). Most of the economic damages from these disasters are caused by tropical cyclones (20%), river floods (8%) and other floods (XNUMX%).

Additional data from the WMO regarding mortality shows that of the approximately 2.07 million deaths in natural disasters in the world from 1970 to 2019, most of them are from middle- to low-income countries (53%) and low-income countries (29%). The data on economic damages in the years 1970 to 2019 amounted to about 3.6 trillion US dollars, and they are concentrated in developed countries with high income (about 63%) and with middle income (25%). In other words, there is an inverse relationship between mortality and economic damages: the lower a country's income, the more mortality and less economic damages due to natural disasters; And the more a country has a higher income, the more economic damage it will have and the less mortality due to these disasters. Below are examples of damages caused by climate and nature damages:

  1. The assessment of the Israeli Meteorological Service (hereafter - the Israel Meteorological Service) from October 2021 states that the rate of temperature increase in Israel in the four decades from 1980 to 2020 was on average per decade almost twice as high as the global rate measured in those years - C°0.54[3].
  2. A study by researchers from Tel Aviv University presented to the Ministry of Environmental Protection[4] (hereinafter - the Ministry of Health) regarding the effects of eight heat waves on mortality in Israel in the years 2012 to 2020, found a "sharp and distinct increase in mortality" in the weeks when there were heat waves; and that on average each heat wave in Israel led to the death of about 45 people, and in total an excess mortality of 363 people was found in the heat waves examined in the study. Of these total deaths, 321 (about 88%) were deaths of adults aged 70 and over, and 42 deaths were of those aged 70 and under. For comparison, during normal times the population aged 70 and over constitutes 70% - 73% of the total number of deceased.
  3. In a study published in July 2023, which examined temperature and mortality data in 35 European countries from 2015 to 2022, the researchers examined the summer in which the highest temperatures ever recorded in the region were recorded, and found that from May 30 to September 4, 2022, 61,672 heat-related deaths occurred, and that The largest number of deaths was in Italy (18,010 dead), Spain (11,324 dead) and Germany (8,173 dead)[5].
  4. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the United States (hereinafter - NOAA)[6], in this country, during the first half of the year 2023 (as of July 11), 12 climate and natural disasters occurred that caused significant damages. The damage in each of them was estimated at more than one billion US dollars, as detailed in the diagram below:

Figure 4: Damages from climate and natural disasters in 2023 in the United States, as of July 2023

Figure 4: Damages from climate and natural disasters in 2023 in the United States, as of July 2023 Source: NOAA[7].

According to NOAA, these 12 climate and natural disasters, including ten severe storm events (including severe weather conditions, hail and tornadoes), one flood event and one winter storm, resulted in damages and losses of more than one billion US dollars each and the death of 100 people .

Effectively dealing with the reduction of GAZ and preparing for the damages of climate change require a perceptual change according to which the climate crisis is not an environmental issue but a systemic crisis that threatens many ways of life, and is therefore relevant to the entirety of government action. The main activity undertaken in the world regarding climate change is done on two levels: reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere to avoid global warming; And preparing in time for the effects of the inevitable increase in global temperature, even if the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere decreases or stabilizes.

It is a global effort that takes place at the local, national and international level. The integration of these levels is necessary to adapt the required policy measures and technological measures to the specific characteristics of each region - the dominant emission types there and the climate change events relevant to it, while coordinating and synchronizing at the global level. Below is a diagram of data on the distribution of greenhouse gas emissions, which illustrate the various volumes of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by geographic regions and by emission source:

Chart 5: Global anthropogenic GHG emissions by region, 1990 - 2019

Source: Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)[8].

* AFOLU - means different uses of the land such as for agriculture, forests and more. These uses can have positive effects of reducing greenhouse gases but of emissions (depending on the type of use).

It can be learned from the diagram that in the last 30 years there has been an almost double increase in the rate of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and that as of 2019 the majority of emissions are emitted in the East Asian region, including China, Japan and South Korea (27%). The North American region, which includes the United States and Canada (12%) - is the second region that produces GHG, but compared to 1990, there was a 33% decrease in the rate of emissions in relation to all regions in the world; Europe's share of global greenhouse gas emissions has decreased by 50% from 16% in 1990 to 8% in 2019; And in the Middle East region where Israel is located, greenhouse gas emissions increased in the aforementioned years from 3% to 5%, an increase of approximately 66%. Below in the chart is the data of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC) about greenhouse gas emissions in the world according to the sector that produces them:

Chart 6: Global greenhouse gas emissions by sector

Source: IPCC Sixth Assessment Report[9].

The chart shows that at the global level the energy sector continues to lead in terms of emissions (34%) followed by the industrial sector (24%), and they produce more than 50% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the world.

In 2021, the State Comptroller's Office published a special audit report on the subject of "the actions of the Israeli government and its preparation for the climate crisis" (hereinafter - the previous report[10]), which included an examination of aspects concerning the activity of dozens of government ministries and governmental and public bodies in the issue of national preparedness for the climate crisis. The state audit chose to deal with an issue that is in the making, from a forward-looking perspective and from the desire to place in the hands of the decision-makers a comprehensive document that will help them prepare for and deal with this multi-dimensional issue. This is also in view of Israel's international obligations on the subject, being a developed country, and the need to take action regarding the climate crisis in the context of reducing emissions, since the State of Israel, despite its size, has a relatively high volume of emissions per capita. According to the data of the Central Bureau of Statistics (hereinafter - LMS)[11] The total emissions of carbon dioxide in Israel in 2022 amounted to approximately 81.1 million tons; In 2021 it amounted to about 78.4 million tons; in 2020 by about 79.5 million tons; And in 2019, the total emissions of carbon dioxide in Israel amounted to 81.1 million tons. Israel is affected by greenhouse gas emissions, being a hot spot that is exposed to significant risks due to climate change.

The previous report took a peripheral view of the policy decisions and actions that the State of Israel has promoted in recent years in several main areas: (a) actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions - mitigation; (b) the multi-sector preparation for the risks associated with climate change - Adaptation; (c) the macroeconomic and financial risks arising from climate change; (d) The manner of Israel's organizational preparation for dealing with these issues. The previous report contained an international section that includes comparative reviews of what is happening in other countries, presentation of the products of professional international organizations on the subjects of the report, review of international studies and sources, analysis of global trends, actions and recommendations of countries and international organizations, risk analyzes and scientific studies .

audit operations

In the months of January to June 2023, the State Comptroller's Office performed a follow-up audit regarding the correction of deficiencies and the implementation of recommendations regarding some of the issues specified in the previous report. Additionally, other aspects related to the actions of the government and public bodies that did not appear in the previous report were examined (hereinafter - the follow-up audit).

The follow-up audit was carried out at the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (hereinafter - the Ministry of Energy), the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Transport and Road Safety (hereinafter - the Ministry of Transport), the Electricity Authority, Benoga - Electricity System Management Ltd.[12] (hereafter - NOGA) in the National Security Council (hereafter - the National Security Council), in the Shemat and other governmental and public bodies. In addition to this, a questionnaire was sent to about 70 government ministries and governmental and public bodies to obtain information about their activities, of which 60 bodies answered it (hereinafter - the questionnaire). Their answers and the conclusions arising from them were incorporated into the follow-up audit.

[1]         It is customary to refer to several types of gases that are emitted into the atmosphere due to human activity and they are also called greenhouse gases, and this is because their emission affects global warming, the main ones being: carbon dioxide CO2; methane CH4; oxygen
O2N dinitrogens and refrigerant gases.

[2]        See the WMO atlas:


[3]         Dr. Avner Porshafen and Dr. Yitzhak Yosef, the Israeli Meteorological Service, "Is Israel warming?" (31.10.21).

[4]         Dr. Dan Yamin, Dr. Erez Shmueli, "Excess mortality in Israel due to heat waves", preliminary research for the chief scientist of the Ministry of Health (2022).

[5]         See:

Ballester, J. et al. Heat-Related Mortality in Europe During the Summer of 2022, Nat Med (2023).

[6]         The NOAA Administration is a scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce that deals with the state of the oceans and atmosphere.

[7]         As of July 2023. See the NOAA website

[8]         See the report of the Third Working Group on Mitigation (WGIII) of the IPCC, which is part of the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC, which was published in 2022 (hereinafter - the WGIII chapter of the Sixth Assessment Report of the IPCC):

Dhakal, and others, 2022: Emissions Trends and Drivers. In IPCC, 2022: Climate Change 2022: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK and New York, NY, USA, pg 234. doi: 10.1017/9781009157926.004

[9]        Chapter WGIII of the IPCC Sixth Assessment Report, p. 246.

[10]      State Comptroller, Special audit report - the actions of the Israeli government and its preparation for the crisis the climate (2021)

[11]        In accordance with the updated methodology for calculating greenhouse gas emissions and the LMS calculations of the inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in Israel, which entered into force in August 2023.

[12]        Nega Electricity System Management Ltd. is an Israeli government company for managing the national electricity system. The company was established as part of the reform of the electricity sector in Israel and began its operations in 2018. Nega is an independent, independent and professional company responsible for the management, planning and development of the electricity system. It works to secure a regular supply of electricity to all consumers in the electricity sector during routine and emergency times and manages the trade in electricity.

More chapters coming soon.

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