Israel is situated in the Mashreq. Its capital Jerusalem is its most populous city. The country is a parliamentary republic consisting of 6 main administrative districts (mehozot), divided into 15 sub-districts (nafot), partitioned into 50 natural regions. The country counts 3 metropolitan areas. Israel has diplomatic relations with Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinian Authority.


In terms of nominal GDP Israel’s economy is estimated the 36th-largest in the world (Worldbank, 2015). Israel has a technologically advanced market economy with substantial, though diminishing, government participation. It depends on imports of crude oil, grains, raw materials, and military equipment. Despite limited natural resources, Israel has intensively developed its agricultural and industrial sectors over the past 20 years. The recent utilization of natural gas reserves has boosted the economy and has improved the country’s security of supply.


Population (2015): 8,380,400
Population (2000): 6,289,000

Largest cities (inhabitants):

  • Jerusalem (2008 census 759,700; 2014 estimates 849,800)
  • Tel Aviv-Yafo (2008 census 402,600; 2014 estimates 426,100)
  • Haifa (2008 census 264,300; 2014 estimates 277,100)
  • RishonLeZion (2008 census 226,800; 2014 estimates 240,700)
  • Petah Tikva (2008 census 200,300; 2014 estimates 225,400)
Annual population growth (2015): 2.0%
Annual population growth (2000): 2.6%

Water and waste

In urban areas 100% of the population has access to both proper water sources and to proper sanitation since 2000 (Worldbank, 2015). According to 2012 figures of the Israeli Ministry of Environmental Protection Israel generates 5.4 million tons of municipal solid waste yearly (per person 1.7 kg/day). Municipal solid waste has increased in the order of 3%-5% every year, but rates vary widely in different parts of the country. Waste collection coverage is high, although exact collection rates are not available. The final destination of collected waste is generally landfilling (75%) and recycling (25%).

Energy and Climate

Israel’s energy consumption in the road transport sector in 2013 amounted to 30.7% (IEA, 2013) of its final energy consumption (IEA 2000: 28.1%), whereas energy consumption per capita in 2014 according to Worldbank amounted to 2,849.5 kg of oil equivalent (Worldbank 2000: 2,899.4 kg).Electricity consumption (Worldbank data) amounted to 6,558.7 kWh per capita in 2013 against 6,323.1 kWh in the year 2000.

According to World Bank figures CO2 emissions in Israel were 9.0 metric tons per capita in 2011 against 9.6 metric tons in 2000. CO2 emissions in Israel stem from the burning of fossil fuels and the manufacture of cement and include those produced during consumption of solid, liquid, and gas fuels and gas flaring.

Policies and strategies

  • National Master Plan for Waste Disposal
  • Policy on Integrated Waste Management
  • Industrial Pollution National Policy
  • National Action Plan in the frame of the Strategic Action
  • Programme for the protection of the Mediterranean from land-based pollution sources (UNEP/MAP)
  • Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty
  • National Energy Policy
  • Transport Sector Strategy 2011-2013
  • Energy Master Plan
  • Investment Programme for Renewable Energy 2008-2012

Bottle-necks and developments

Bottle-necks in Israel are treatment and recovery of urban effluents, sanitation activities in particular areas, and the upgrade of particular landfill sites. Furthermore there is a need to better control industrial air pollutant emissions, air pollution monitoring and enforcement of abatementy measures, and reduction and further treatment of industrial effluents.

Israel’s energy efficiency and renewable energy planning is still in a stage of development. Energy saving potentials are in wind and solar energy, green building, efficient lighting, appliance efficiency, green roofs, reduction of energy consumption and redcuction in mileage and fuel consumption (transport). Wind energy, biodiesel and biogas have been set in motion. Green Building Standards were published in recent years. Twelve wastewater treatment plants collect methane from sludge.

ENP Progress Report 2011

Israel started preparations on an Energy Master Plan–2050, taking account of recently discovered off-shore natural gas resources. The EU remains committed re-launching trilateral energy cooperation with Israel and the Palestinian Authority.Jerusalem opened a light rail tram, and Israel and the EU agreed to aim at finalising the negotiations on an aviation agreement in 2012. Partners signed a joint statement on cooperation on Global Navigation Satellite Systems.

The Supreme Energy Council decided to update the Egyptian Energy Strategy–2030 in the light of the new situation in the country. The ENPI Neighbourhood Investment Facility co-financed several projects in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

As concerns climate change sub-regional co-operation was launched between Israel, Jordan and Palestine on the impact of climate change on water availability. Israel is encouraged to engage in the new carbon market mechanism to be developed under UNFCCC, as well as to fully implement the Cancun and Durban agreements.


  • National Water Law
  • Local Authorities Sewerage Law
  • Model Local Authorities By-Law (Discharge of Industrial Sewage into the Sewage System)
  • 8 Water Regulations (Prevention of Water Pollution)
  • Licensing of Businesses Law and Regulations (Salt Concentrations in Industrial Sewage)
  • Maintenance of Cleanliness Law
  • 3 Maintenance of Cleanliness Regulations
  • Voluntary Covenant on Implementing Standards on Air
  • Pollutant Emissions
  • Abatement of Nuisances Law (Prevention of Air and Smell Pollution)
  • Abatement of Nuisances Regulations (premises, vehicles, ambient air, particulate matter, solid waste, etc.)
  • Public Health Regulations
  • Collection and Disposal of Waste for Recycling Law and Regulations
  • Hazardous Substances Regulations
  • Criminal Procedure Order
  • Deposit Law and Regulations on Beverage Containers
  • Traffic Ordinance
  • Operation of Vehicles Engines and Fuel Law
  • Planning and Building Regulations (Environment Impact Statements)
  • Air Conditioning Systems Regulation