Israel is responsible for about half of the global average of CO2 emissions from land use and transport, a new report says.
The study by the environmental consultancy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), said Israel has more than 50,000 settlers living in more than 20 outposts around the country, including areas of Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
It says settlements are responsible for 2.4 million tons of CO02 emissions annually, and more than half of those are from agricultural production.
In addition to pollution from agricultural land, settlers also consume land, which is used for housing, water and other industrial uses, the study found.
More than half the carbon emissions came from agriculture, with a whopping 17.5 percent coming from settlements, it said.
For a nation that prides itself on its green image, that is a shocking number.
According to the UN, Israel emits 4.7 million tons per year of CO 2 from land and transport.
While Israel has been trying to tackle its CO2 pollution problem, the EDF report said its implementation is not enough, because the land and infrastructure required to maintain the settlements has yet to be built.
“Despite this, the land still needs to be cultivated and built,” the study said.
“As such, the Palestinian population in the West bank and Gaza will continue to suffer the consequences of the settlement system, while those living in Israel will continue on a path of increasing settlement activity.”