In Israel, as in other western countries, air pollution is the biggest environmental risk factor for public health. Transportation has a key role in creating air pollution - since cars emit their pollution in populated areas at ground level, they have the biggest impact on public health.
The World Health Organization has determined that pollution from diesel engines is carcinogenic and dangerous.
According to OECD estimates from 2015, some 2,220 premature deaths in Israel every year are caused by air-pollution – and about half of these are caused by vehicular emissions. In 2015, measurements on 7 out of 8 roadside air monitoring stations on major highways in the greater Tel Aviv area exceeded the air quality targets permitted by law. Similar excesses were measured in Jerusalem and Haifa. In addition to the direct health implications, there are also economic implications related to loss of workdays, at an estimate of NIS 28 billion a year.
The main pollutants are diesel powered vehicles such as buses, trucks, minibuses, taxis and old pickup trucks.
KKL-JNF and the Ministry of Environmental Protection (MoEP)’s clean car revolution is comprised of four programs, aimed at reducing vehicular air pollution, with an overall budget of NIS 75 million.