In the past few decades, there has been a worrying increase in the levels of air pollution, as well as a sharp escalation in greenhouse gas emissions. In the cities of Israel, where the majority of greenhouse gases are emitted, environmental and health damages are being felt already.
In 2008, Forum 15 cities as well as Jerusalem, Ashkelon and Bat-Yam, inaugurated "The Climate Convention", a local version of ICLEI's international convention for climate protection. Ratification of the convention is a central tool for promoting a strategy of urban sustainability. The convention commits cities to preparing municipal plans for the reduction of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions within their boundaries (by no less than 20% by the year 2020).
Forum 15’s Climate Convention is a part of a new agenda in urban Israel. For the first time, the major cities united for promoting a public cause, aligning them with other major cities across the globe.
The Climate Convention includes three steps:
In order to take real action, a specific plan is required. Thus, the Cities Alliance for Quality of Life & Environment
was formed. This plan is the next step of the Climate Convention. It has the form of a guide, including a list of concrete actions to be integrated in the municipalities’ work plans.
Steering and Control Committee of the Climate Convention
In order to prepare the convention and to outline related activities, the Forum has established a professional Committee for steering the process. The Committee includes members of Forum 15, municipalities, different government offices, as well as members of environmental organizations.
Professional Support Team
Forum 15 regularly deploys a team of professionals and consultants to cities seeking to execute the Climate Convention. These professionals provide instruction and training, conduct seminars, round tables, professional guidance, colleague gatherings and networking, as well as making tools and knowledge on the subject accessible. Such tools include projects implementation guides (“practices”), examples of projects from municipalities in Israel and abroad and relevant public appeals, calls for applications, and more.
Periodic Reports to ICLEI
By signing the Convention, Forum 15 and the municipalities have committed to maintaining maximal transparency to ICELI organization and to the Israeli public. In this context, the Forum has published two comprehensive reports on the municipalities’ activitiy, as well as on the Steering and Control Committee’s activity.