Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pauses as he delivers a speech at the Jewish Federations of North America 2015 General Assembly in Washington November 10, 2015..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the climate agreement signed in Paris on Saturday night “important,” and said Israel – like all other countries in the world – has an interest in slowing down global warming, and pledged that Israel “will contribute its part.”
Netanyahu pointed out that Israel is leading in developing technology for wastewater purification technologies, recycling and desalinating water. In addition, he said, Israel has a plan for alternatives to oil in transportation.
The prime minister, who along with scores of other leaders attended the opening of the climate change conference earlier this month, said at the outset of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting that Israel would “reduce greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of future generations.”
In September, the government approved a program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030.
The NIS 500 million program calls for NIS 300m. in financial support to companies over the next four years so that they can invest in energy efficiency.
It also called for an increase in renewable energy to 17% of the total energy production, a 17% reduction in electricity consumption and an improvement in public transportation that will result in 20% reduction in private vehicle usage.
Netanyahu said that halting global warming is a “complex international mission. It is built on the premise that large and small countries alike will not deviate from it. This demands international discipline, which is not easy, but for the good of humanity, I hope that it will be found. It will certainly be found in Israel.”
Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay, who represented the country at the talks, said Israel hopes to reduce pollution caused by vehicles, move to renewable energy and save more energy.
Gabbay, before the cabinet meeting, told reporters that Israel supported the agreement and was part of the negotiations.