In Brief: Treat climate change as security issue, Knesset committee says

Knesset in session > Itzik Edri, CC BY 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Knesset’s powerful Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee have called for the Israeli government and security services to take the issue of climate change more seriously and to consider it a national security issue, given the threat of posed by global warming.

“There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a worsening crisis […] and despite the good decisions that have already been made, I don’t think that the government understands the scope of the crisis”, the chairman of the committee Ram Ben-Barak said.

Ben-Barak’s remarks came after a special meeting of the committee focused on the national security aspects of the global climate crisis held on Tuesday, as part of the Knesset’s Environmental Protection Day.

The events brought in experts to testify to the various ways that climate change could affect Israel’s security.
Yesh Atid’s Nira Shpak said that the lack of “concrete plans for execution” were a frustration for her, being an “unreasonable omission” for a committee that needed to “examine and oversee” the government’s work.

A representative from the National Security Council told the committee that the climate crisis was being designated as a national security issue.

The IDF has recognised the threat of climate change, with dedicated teams within the Planning Directorate on the issue.

However, critics have warned that much more must be done to counter the threat posed by climate change.