How Israel’s expertise in climate innovation can help India

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Source: This post is based on the article How Israel’s expertise in climate innovation can help India posted in The Indian Express on 2nd September 2021.

Syllabus: GS3 – Conservation, Environmental Pollution and Degradation, Environmental Impact Assessment

Relevance: Lessons from Israel could be used to drive India’s climate actions.

Synopsis: In the backdrop of emerging threats from climate change such as floods, forest fires, torrential rains, giant hailstones etc. our efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change seem slow. However, Israel’s actions could help us move faster to achieve net zero emission.

Introduction

The average global temperature rise in 2021 is projected to be about 1.2 degrees Celsius above that of the pre-industrial period. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 2021 analysis shows that the window of opportunity to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius to avoid the worst impacts of climate change is closing. The report is a warning for us.

We need a lifestyle and economy that supports, not disrupts the planet’s climate, nature and environment.

What are potential threats to India?

Melting of glaciers– The Himalayan glaciers, the source of major rivers and aquifers supplying water to hundreds of millions of Indians, are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Risk to low lying areas– Climate change will increase the risks in low-lying coastal zones due to cyclones and coastal and inland flooding, storm surges and sea-level rise.

Impact on Indian agriculture and water resources– The increased frequency of extreme events such as floods and droughts will have a severe impact on India’s agriculture and water resources, food security and the prosperity of rural communities.

India has made enormous investments in renewable energy sources, to increase the use of solar, wind, biomass, waste, and hydropower energies. But there are still enormous challenges in meeting Indian demands for energy, food, and water sustainably. Israel offers lessons for us.

What can we learn from Israel?

In agriculture– Israel has learned to establish agriculture in the desert and arid areas.

In water use–  It recycles 90% of its wastewater and uses desalinate drinking water.

In energy– Israel has developed solutions for energy storage, energy efficiency, and renewable energy. It also promotes energy generation from sea waves, the use of advanced computing tools for energy management.

Animal protein substitutes– It has cultivated a groundbreaking industry of animal protein substitutes. Products such as poultry, milk, eggs and more are being produced in laboratories using methods that emit almost no greenhouse gases. This allows huge swathes of agricultural land currently being used for livestock purposes to be freed up for ecological restoration and reforestation.

Way forward

We need to harness all of human abilities in order to steer the planet towards a safe position. The only way to do this is by working together, sharing information and experience, and providing mutual support. Israel and India can lead the way to establish state-of-the-art solutions for the developing world in order to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

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