This bill acknowledges the vital role that trees play in preserving our planet. Along with other plants, trees absorb roughly a quarter of all greenhouse gases emitted on earth annually, and keep temperatures on earth down to a habitable level.
The cars that we drive, the factories that produce the goods that we use and discard, the power plants producing the electricity that we depend on, all emit harmful greenhouse gases that cause temperatures on our planet to steadily rise. The amount of greenhouse gases produced across the globe only rises with each passing year.
Trees do much to absorb these harmful greenhouses gases. The Jewish National Fund estimates that a single tree absorbs some 1,543 pounds (0.7 tons) of carbon dioxide in its lifetime. It takes some 200 trees to absorb the amount of greenhouse gas produced by a single human!
Israeli law, although problematic as far as regulation goes, protects most of the trees in Israel and prohibits cutting them down without special authorization. The bill proposed by MK Pines stipulates that engineering and development institutions will only approve construction projects that necessitate cutting down trees if the contractors involved replace them with comparable counterparts.
“Everyone who wants to cut down trees will have to think twice from now on,” said MK Pines. “This bill will ensure that our cities are greener and the air in them is far cleaner.”
The proposed bill, although approved by the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation and Law Enforcement, still faces many hurdles before it is put into practice and actually implemented.
Should the bill pass the required readings in the Knesset, it is up to the Interior Ministry to enforce it. The ministry objects to this measure, and is already actively seeking ways to either change or circumvent it.