Press Release

How Willing are Israelis to Reduce Carbon Emissions? Survey

A new survey conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute (IDI) examined Israeli's attitudes toward climate change and the possible steps to stem the tide.

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The survey was conducted as part of Israel 2050: A Flourishing Economy in a Sustainable Environment, a project spearheaded by the IDI in collaboration with the Ministry of the Environment as well as the Ministries of Economy, Energy, and Transport and the Israel Planning Administration. The project deals with preparations by the Israeli economy to reduce carbon emissions and to design strategic plan and policy objectives for 2050, a plan which Israel must to submit to the UN by the end of 2020. The findings of this survey were presented at IDI's Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society. Link to the full survey.


Pollution, Climate Change, and Government – 75% of Israelis agree that there is a link between air pollutant emissions and climate change and that the Israeli government should take steps to deal with global warming.

Humanity at Risk – 72% of Israelis believe that humanity is at risk due to climate change and global warming, and 54% believe that the climate crisis is the next crisis we will have to deal with. 

General Climate Fears – 70% of Israelis are concerned about the increase in disease and epidemics against the backdrop of the climate crisis; 63% are concerned about the increase in air pollution; 60-61% are concerned about the economic blow to the weaker populations around the world as a result of the climate crisis, or concerned about the destruction of the earth as a habitable environment; and 56% are concerned about the shortage of natural resources and raw materials. Among Arab Israelis, the number concerned about the rise in air pollution is particularly high: 72% as compared with 64% among secular and orthodox Jews and only 38% among ultra-orthodox Jews.

Recycling – 77% of Israelis expressed strong willingness to separate trash for recycling on a regular basis provided the recycling bins are near their homes. This willingness declines significantly to 53% if the bins are some distance away.

Public vs. Private Transportation – 45% of Israelis are willing to cut back on travel in private vehicles in order to reduce air pollution, even if this makes the trip longer and less convenient. 

Environment and Elections – Despite the findings of the survey, climate change and environmental quality are not a major consideration for voters in either Knesset or local elections: only 30% and 33%, respectively.

The Climate Change Crisis survey was conducted by IDI's Social Eye team for inclusion in a more extensive report being written by an IDI research team called "A Fair Transition to a Low-Carbon Economy in Israel." This report was published in December 2020 and presented in part at the Eli Hurvitz Conference on Economy and Society (December 14–16, 2020). 

The survey is based on a representative sample of the Israeli population and included 1009 respondents. It was conducted online, November 8–14, 2020. A total of 842 men and women were interviewed in Hebrew and 167 in Arabic, constituting a representative sample of the entire adult population in Israel (aged 18 and up). The maximum sampling error for the survey population as a whole is plus ±3.15%, with level of 95% (Jews ±3.4%, Arabs ±7.7). The fieldwork was conducted by the Smith Institute, directed by Rafi Smith. The data file is available at Data Israel.