Why are we running this project? 

While Jewish and Palestinian citizens in Israel share the same climate, the Palestinian community is at higher risk of being impacted by the effects of the climate change.

The Palestinian community that are citizens of Israel is estimated at 1,890,000, representing 20.95% of Israel’s total population, the majority of whom are living in Palestinian localities and mixed cities. They have been marginalized and discriminated against in education, housing, employment and government funding by successive Israeli governments.

 According to a recent report, the Israeli government is preparing a national climate emergency declaration, which would require all public agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, establish monitoring and reporting systems, and prepare for climate emergencies. Israel’s approach to address climate change focuses on lowering the carbon emissions and allocating budgets to increase the countries’ preparedness to mitigate climate change. However, the impact of climate change within the Israeli political context is exacerbating the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Climate effects could widen the already existing inequalities and escalate the conflicts. Therefore, Israel’s climate change policy should recognize the Palestinian community’s historic discrimination, and promote policies based on human rights – an approach that achieves equality and dignity, and improves health and education, reduces inequality, and spurs economic growth – all while tackling climate change.  

What are our goals?

The overall objective of the project is to promote equitable and just national climate change policies that effectively address the impact of climate change on the Palestinian community. Areas addressed include infrastructure, housing, health and environmental quality to improve their resilience, well-being and quality of life and to encouraging Palestinian youth in addressing the environmental challenges in their community. In addition, the project promotes the human rights of the Palestinian population in Israel, particularly in relation to climate justice.

How does the project work?

Within the project, environmental issues and climate change at the national and community levels are addressed. The impact of climate change on the Palestinian community in Israel is evaluated, based on the assessment of various stakeholders from different fields. Another component is the capacity building for youth climate activists representing the Palestinian community in Israel, including workshops on the impact of climate change and adaptation policies. Lastly, policy papers, law amendments, and a special hearing at the Knesset to discuss the impact of climate change on the Arab community will be prepared, as well as ongoing meetings and roundtables with state officials and Knesset members and other civil society partners.

Who are the target groups?

Palestinian youth, elected representatives of Palestinian localities as well as representatives of civil society organizations.

Who organizes and supports the project?

Citizens for the Environment (CfE) is a non-for-profit organization established in Israel. CfE promotes inclusive action that addresses the impact of climate change and environmental hazards through joint Arab-Jewish cooperation and addresses Israel’s geographic and social periphery in the Galilee and the Triangle region. CfE is a registered NGO since 1990.