Connecting the Israeli Innovation to the World
Connecting the Israeli Innovation to the World
Climate-Tech

Israeli climate innovations

Israel’s tech to fight global climate crisis

From its famed water management system via first of the class drought resilient agriculture to renewable energies, a host of Israeli climate innovations are helping the world deal with the climate crisis

By Ambassador Gideon Behar 

 

Israel is considered one of the leading countries in the world in the field of climate innovation and some of these climate-tech inventions are in great demand in the world today. As eco-anxiety continues to grow over the impact of the man-made climate crisis, Israel is leading the way in climate innovation – using technology, research and development, thinking, ideas, behavior change, to develop and implement solutions to tackle the climate crisis. 

A glimpse of what Israel had to offer in climate innovation was on display at the Israeli pavilion at the UN Climate Conference COP 27 at Sharm el-Sheikh in November 2022.

Israel stands at the helm of climate innovation today because its location in an arid region necessitated it to develop capabilities to survive and thrive. These climate solutions are exactly what many areas of the world need today to deal with the climate crisis.  Many entrepreneurs have also recognized the growing need for innovative climate solutions and are constantly developing new capabilities. According to a report by the Innovation Authority and the climate innovation community “Plantech”, Israel has approximately 1,300 companies and startups in the field of climate innovation with dozens more being added every year.

Over the years, Israel has developed a wide variety of climate innovations. While it is impossible to list them all here, some of the inventions mentioned below are significant in terms of their impact and most sought-after by the world to mitigate the climate crisis.

Before we look at the list of inventions pioneered by Israel, it is important to understand that climate innovation takes place at two main levels in Israel: 

The first is mitigation – reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases in order to stop and slow down global warming.

The second step is adaptation and resilience – i.e. optimal adaptation and preparation for the negative consequences that come with the climate crisis. At the foundation of this is the desire to prevent damage that is already occurring and will occur and to build resilience. 

 

Made in Israel for the world

For some years now, Israel has stood at the forefront of climate innovation, particularly in the following areas and its interesting to see how technology developed for indigenous use is sought-after by the world today.

Water: Israel is situated in an arid region, with limited natural water sources. Yet, it has developed a five-pronged approach to managing its water resources starting with saving water, water treatment and water recycling (Israel holds the world record in wastewater treatment: about 94 per cent of all wastewater is treated), seawater desalination (Israel’s desalination is one of the most advanced in the world), prevention of leaks in water supply and transmission systems – with only few percents of water loss this s another world record, and lastly, with a sophisticated water management system that’s the best in the world. 

Agriculture: Israel is a world leader in the field of agriculture, pioneering many methods to cultivate and grow, with high yields per hectare, crops in arid lands. Israel has developed ways to save and optimize the use of water and reduce emission of greenhouse gases, and share these methods with a world dealing with climate crisis. Israel’s drip irrigation methods are world renowned as is its precision agriculture and the implementation of the use of sensors and technology in agriculture. Israel also leads in research and development of drought and heat-resistant varieties of crops. It employs remote sensing and the use of satellites and drones for better crop management. Israel has also propagated the use of biological pesticides and the use of brackish or salty water in agriculture, and much more.

Alternative protein for a cleaner planet

 Israel ranks second in the after the USA in the development of and investments in alternative proteins. Proteins of this type are increasingly replacing proteins that come from animal sources such as meat, chicken, dairy products, eggs, etc., the production of which has a very heavy impact on the climate and the Earth’s environment.

There are three kinds of alternative proteins developed in Israel – vegetable protein, cultured meat and proteins produced in the process of fermentation using bacteria such as cow’s milk, honey and more. Vegetable protein highly imitates – in taste, texture, structure and mouthfeel – meat, chicken, fish, and seafood of all kinds, or substitutes for dairy products such as soy milk, almonds, oats, etc., vegetarian cheeses, yogurt, etc. Another alternative protein is cultured meat, meat grown in a laboratory using tissues originally taken from animals. 

Renewable energies

In its approach to providing solutions for a cleaner, greener planet, hundreds of companies in Israel are engaged in the development of renewable energies such as generating electricity from sea waves, attaining energy efficiency using smart algorithms and big data, energy storage, for example, in compressed air or ice, increasing the efficiency of the electricity grids and enabling the connection of renewable energies to them and more. Israeli companies in these fields are active around the world and are establishing significant projects.

Nature-based solutions

Despite being a small and relatively young country, Israel has gained a lot of experience in restoring natural systems, restoring species to nature and reforesting semi-arid areas. This experience is essential in a world which is feeling the effects of global warming – forests are dying due to overheating, fires and diseases that come with the climate crisis.

Sustainable transportation 

Israel is making huge strides in the field of smart transportation that helps reduce emissions and increase efficiency in transportation. The focus has been on smart systems for the autonomous vehicles of the future, as well as two-wheeler cooperative transportation projects in the big cities such as scooters and bicycles and the electrification of the rail system.

Carbon capture and its storage

This is a field that is developing very rapidly in the world and has a very large business potential. In Israel, a growing number of companies and startups are engaged in this field, both through the direct capture of carbon dioxide from the air, and through nature-based solutions such as the restoration of wetlands and moist habitats. Israeli entrepreneurs are also promoting this field abroad through planting forests, restoring mangrove forests, etc. There are other companies and startups operating in the field of collecting information on carbon sequestration in the soil, plants and seas. They are able to give an accurate picture of how much carbon or methane has been removed from the atmosphere or the sea and thus assist companies engaged in this field to receive emissions reduction credits for their activity and sell it on the emissions markets.

Use of materials and circular economy

Many startups and companies are working today to maximize the use of materials in industry and consumption and to increase the ability to recycle them to promote a circular economy. Other materials are being developed such as biodegradable plastic from waste, environmentally friendly concrete, recycling materials from the textile industry, using algae to create materials for consumption and industry and more.

Civil/social climate innovations

In Israel, there are close to 150 civil society organizations active in the field of climate and environment protection. They develop many innovations, ideas and chart a path in fighting the climate crisis. Examples of this are the “Clean Money Forum” of the Life and Environment organization, the President’s Forum on Climate Change, which includes dozens of civil society participants who promote ideas to combat the climate crisis, and more. Ideas for projects and policy improvement are constantly coming from civil society and climate and environmental organizations that are developing many solutions to deal with the climate crisis.

Through its solutions to reduce the impact of environmental damage and climate crisis, Israel has always made its support clear to the global community that it is ready to supply and develop innovative and practical solutions to reduce the climate crisis facing the world.

Israel’s message to the world has always been proactive when it comes to providing solutions for the climate crisis. Israel is and willing to cooperate and contribute to the global challenge in dealing with the climate crisis, through the supply and development of innovative and practical solutions.

 

Ambassador Gideon Behar is Israel’s Special Envoy for Climate Change and Sustainability in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 

 

Ambassador Gideon Behar

Ambassador Gideon Behar

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