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COP26 and Israel

      26 Oct 2021

This is part 3 of an ongoing series on the COP (Conference of the Parties). You can check out part 1, an introduction to the COP, and part 2, a preview of what to expect from the 26th meeting of the COP (COP26).


Government leaders from around the world face enormous amounts of pressure to make sure their climate action plans live up to the scale of the climate emergency—or at least, come closer than past attempts—at the COP26 conference, starting next week in Glasgow.


Israel is among those countries stepping up their climate ambition this year. It will be represented by a large delegation, headed by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. UBQ’s Vice President of Sustainability, Rachel Barr, will be among the 120 people attending, along with government ministers and other business leaders. President Isaac Herzog’s newly announced Israeli Climate Forum will continue the work on climate action once COP26 is over.


Israel’s Goals for the Future

Israel’s updated emissions reduction plan, or nationally determined contribution (NDC), shifts from a per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goal to an absolute reduction goal. This means that emissions are targeted to drop even as the population continues to grow.


The country’s new NDC sets a goal of reducing total GHG emissions by 27% by 2030 and by 85% by 2050. These reduction targets are both in comparison to 2015 and represent cuts equivalent to 21 and 67 million tons of CO2, respectively.


Delving more deeply, Israel hopes to transform the transportation and waste management sectors in particular. For example, by 2026, all newly purchased city buses must be electric, and the emissions produced by new cars must be reduced 20-fold by 2030. By 2050, transportation as a sector is expected to cut its emissions by 96%.


Waste management is required to make nearly as drastic a reduction in emissions—92% by 2050, and 47% over the next nine years. This will be accomplished by the plans laid out in the National Waste Strategy: bringing the landfilling rate down to 20% by 2030 from its current 80%, recycling 54% of waste, and keeping organic waste out of landfills. It is this last goal that has the largest potential for climate impact, as food and yard waste releases methane when it is disposed of in landfills. To underline this point, Israel has also joined the Global Methane Pledge, which will be formally launched at COP26.


The Role of Sustainable Innovation

Known as the Startup Nation, Israel has no shortage of cleantech innovators. Israeli ingenuity has led to advances in every field from drip irrigation to renewable energy. If necessity is the mother of invention, then the climate emergency generates countless opportunities for novel solutions that can play a part in meeting the world’s climate goals.


UBQ Materials is one of these solutions whose time has come. As an Israeli company that turns unsorted waste into a useful plastic alternative—preventing landfill methane emissions and providing a way to retain the value of previously “unrecyclable” materials—we know that we can help slow down climate change. To optimize our environmental benefit and ensure that we are as sustainable a company as we can be, we have joined the Race to Zero by pledging to reach net-zero GHG emissions by 2030.


To date, UBQ is the only Israeli company in the Race to Zero, a UN-led coalition of organizations that have made a net-zero commitment. But we know that many other companies care deeply about leaving a healthy planet for the generations to come. We welcome our compatriots to help us develop a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who are dedicated to solving humanity’s most pressing problems.


Join us in the Race to Zero.


You can also follow us on Twitter for live updates from the COP26 climate summit.

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On the Ground at COP26, UBQ's Daily Breakdown