National Climate Change Policy

National Climate Change Policy


Milestones in Palestine’s Climate Policy


Palestine upgraded its status from “Observer” to “Party” to the UNFCCC, becoming its 197th member.

17 March 2016

Ratification of/Accession to the UNFCCC

Observer State

Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol

Observer State

Submission of the Initial National Communication

in progress

Submission of the Second National Communication


National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy


National Committee for Climate Change


Submission of Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) 


Paris Agreement (entry into force) 

04 November 2016 


On 17th March 2016, Palestine upgraded its status from “Observer” to “Party” to the UNFCCC, becoming its 197th member. This follows the  deposit of  Palestine’s instrument of accession on December 18th 2015, announced during the closing statements at COP21”

Prior to this date , Palestine has been  as Observer State to the UNFCCC, and as such not eligible for direct access to the GEF, a financial mechanism under the convention for Non Annex I parties, providing financial support to prepare National Communications, participate in the meetings of the UNFCCC (COPs & MOPs and other negotiation meetings) or to strengthen the capacity of competent authorities. Palestine has only access to the GEF through its Small Grant Programme.

As Observer State, Palestine was not a contracting Party to the Kyoto Protocol, and consequently could not benefit from the CDM Mechanism.


The Low Carbon Development context

 Key data

  • Total GHG emissions : under preparation
  • Per capita GHG emissions: under preparation
  • Carbon intensity of the economy: under preparation
  • Carbon intensity of the energy sector: under preparation
  • Share of renewable energy : 18% (Ref.: Energy Sector Strategy 2011-2014)

Despite the fact that the Palestinian population is highly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, the nexus between desertification, drought, water scarcity, land degradation, biodiversity loss and climate change is not well defined at the national level. Though Climate Change has not been recognised so far at the top of the national priorities, Climate Change is considered a high priority in the Palestinian Environment Sector Strategy 2014-2016 which is part of the National Development Plan 2014-2016. Many other pressing issues have to be taken into consideration including the critical financial situation of the government and the fact that the country is under occupation, a situation severly hindering the ability of the government to implement national plans and strategies.


In 2010, the energy supply in Palestine was based on a single power plant (diesel) in the Gaza Strip, generating 7% of the country’s electricity. The rest of the electricity required is currently imported from Israel (89%) and Jordan/Egypt (4%). The price for electricity is high and the country strongly dependant on external supplies. The Energy Sector Strategy for 2011–2013 launched by the Palestinian Energy and Natural Resources Authority, promotes the implementation of the Electricity Law providing support tariffs and promoting the use of renewable sources of energy. The Palestinian Government also continues the implementation of an Energy Efficiency Programme and remains committed to developing the use of renewable energy.


A Low Carbon Development Programme concept note was prepared jointly by the Environment Quality Authority and UNDP which needs an estimated budget of 50 Million USD to be implemented.



 Recent analyses confirm that current hardships faced by Palestine are likely to be exacerbated by the effects of Climate Change with:

  • increased competition for scarce water resources and intensification of water insecurity (water resources are controlled by Israel which highly affects its management in Palestine).
  • increase food insecurity with climate change impacts negatively affecting agricultural production,
  • hindrance of economic growth, worsening poverty and social instability.
  • control over land resources by Israel with the land classification in A, B & C zones; Israel has full control over Area C, 62% of the total area which usually is the target area for large scale development projects i.e.: sanitary land fills, waste water treatment plans, industrial zones, etc.) and all activities in these areas need permits from the Israeli side which turns out to be difficult to obtain.

Based on the few existing vulnerability and adaptation assessments, mostly carried out as case studies in the context of broader regional programmes and as part of the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy Formulation, the impacts of climate change in Palestine are projected to be a combination of decrease in precipitation (with significant seasonal variations), increase in temperature, prolonged heat waves, floods, drought, increase of vector borne diseases and sea level rise.


Adaptation to climate change represents an additional burden in an already very difficult context. A consensus emerging in all public services identifies resilience to climate change as a key development concern to alleviate the current situation trigged by shortage of water, energy/electricity, low agriculture production and low food and water supply security.


A “National Adaptation Strategy for Climate Change” (NASCC) has been developed and approved by Palestine. The strategy has identified the agricultural and the water sectors as the most sensitive to present and future climate hazards, leading to a strategic focus of adaptation measures on water and food insecurity.