Nathan Sussman, Professor of Economy and Director of the Centre for Finance and Development, was among three scientists who drew up a plan for Israel’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Together with environmental lawyer Ori Sharon and economic consultant Hila Shoef-Kollwitz, they drafted a plan which would create jobs and boost economic growth while protecting the environment. The plan contains investments of USD 2.5 billion, primarily in renewable energy, transportation, industry, and waste treatment.
In a recent article in the newspaper Times of Israel, Professor Sussman said that “the infrastructure investments needed to bring down carbon emissions will help rev up the economy, creating jobs, thus putting money back into people’s pockets and increasing consumption.” He also stated that investment in infrastructure helps increase productivity and close socio-economic gaps.
Part of the proposed investments is designed to reduce road traffic. While more remote working opportunities would reduce overall traffic, improved public transportation, cycle paths, and support for electric cars are intended to green the remaining transportation needs.
The recovery plan was born in the framework of the Israel 2050 project, where Professor Sussman headed a committee examining the macro-economic implications of moving to a low-carbon economy. This committee’s work showed that moving to clean energy would boost Israel’s GDP and social welfare while being relatively cheap for the state.
Asked about the political feasibility of the recovery plan, Professor Sussman told the Times of Israel that “the professional staffs of the relevant ministries already get the need to cut carbon emissions, are committed to it and are planning for it. It’s up the Finance Ministry and the politicians to understand that something important is happening here. The prime minister should take this on as a project – and lead.”