Passing a Basic Law for environmental protection and creating a long-term blueprint for the Israeli energy market will be key components of The Tzipi Livni Party’s platform, the party said on Thursday.
The announcement came as Livni presented the party’s environmental agenda together with Green Movement chairman Alon Tal, No. 13 on their joint Knesset candidates list, at the party’s Tel Aviv office.
The Tzipi Livni Party also advocates public transportation reform, maintenance of open spaces for future generations, and a new clean-tech industry development program.
“We are bringing today strategic link between two movements that want to make a change in Israel,” Livni said.
“Change is much more than an additional Knesset seat – it is promoting the issues and values that the two parties believe in. The need to reach a political settlement, work for equal share of the burden and economic and social improvement require profound change and detailed plans in order to ensure our quality of life in Israel. Israel lags in comparison to other developed countries, and it is time to change the face of Israel’s renewability together with the Green Movement.”
A Basic Law – part of Israel evolving constitution – that provides for environmental protection would allow for the preservation of the country’s natural resources for generations to come, according to the party. In enacting such legislation, the government could help prevent pollution and depletion of natural resources as well as ensure sustainable development, conservation of biodiversity, and cooperation with other countries and international organizations on environmental issues, it said.
By creating a blueprint for the Israeli energy market, the party said it intended to focus on the country’s energy future for the next 50 years, as well as advocate intelligent management of the resources, and accelerated implementation of renewable energy and natural gas use.
As part of the strategy, Livni would aim to bring renewable energy usage up to 10 percent by 2017 and 20% by 2020, Tal said. The current government goal is 10% for 2020.
Part of the party’s environmental agenda would entail a complete overhaul of the Transportation Ministry budget that would ensure that public transport is clean, comfortable, good, fast, cheap and frequent in all parts of the country. Livni and her colleagues said they would work to see that at least 50% of the ministry’s development budget is spent on public transportation, providing a boost to light rail project in Gush Dan, expanding the frequency of train and bus service, and promoting bicycle and pedestrian transportation.
Preserving open space is also critical to the country’s future, Livni and her team said. They aim to declare about 250,000 hectares (some 620,000 acres) of open space as protected areas. They would also produce a long-term policy plan that “considers in advance the needs of residents in the country who live in concrete and cement,” the party said.
A final plank of The Tzipi Livni Party’s environmental agenda is the development of a cleantech industry program with extensive government support for entrepreneurship in the field. Such a program, Livni and her team said, could create up to 30,000 jobs and be the perfect place for the country’s skilled human capital.
“As a professor of environmental policy, I can honestly say this is the most detailed, comprehensive, creative and ambitious environmental platform ever introduced by a major political party in an Israeli election,” Tal told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday afternoon. “It’s a reflection of genuine commitment of Livni and the movement to adapt a true agenda for sustainability and environmental quality.”