PM Netanyahu at cabinet meeting 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The cabinet approved the future institution of a national plan toward promoting
green growth on Sunday, pursuant to Israel’s responsibilities as an Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member state, the Prime
Minister’s Office reported later that day.
The plan, which was suggested
by the Environmental Protection and Industry, Trade and Labor ministers, will
create a framework for green growth in the years 2012-20, and will recommend a
specific course of action for Israel’s transition to a green economy, according
to an Environment Ministry statement.
A government task force will have
six months – until May 2012 – to submit a detailed plan, whose implementation
the two ministries expect will generate billions of shekels for the Israeli
economy, as well as save additional billions that are currently being invested
in combating environmental and health hazards, the statement said.
stipulations within the plan will include mapping out and removing
environmentally harmful subsidies, accelerating green innovation, developing the
cleantech industry, encouraging cleaner production and promoting green
industrial zones, according to the Environment Ministry.
Part of the
government’s decision to begin formulating a plan stems from a June 2009 OECD
Declaration on Green Growth, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
all 30 then-members, as well as Israel and three other non-members at the time,
the declaration tasked the OECD with harnessing a green growth strategy that
combined economic, environmental, technological, financial and developmental
elements, according to the OEC website.
The Israeli cabinet, the Prime
Minister’s Office explained, defines green growth as “socioeconomic growth and
development that does not harm the environment, promotes the efficient,
cost-effective and lasting use of natural resources and promotes the creation of
‘green’ jobs while maximizing opportunities for using clean growth
Pleased with the cabinet’s decision, the Environmental
Protection Ministry said it viewed the move as a positive step in the growth of
Israeli industry toward meeting new international standards and maintaining
competitiveness in the global market.
“Economic growth is an important
thing, but is not the essence of everything,” Environmental Protection Minister
Gilad Erdan said in a statement. “What interests us is the quality of life of
the country’s citizens, and economic growth that destroys and depletes natural
resources does not improve quality of life. Therefore, it is necessary to
advance green growth, taking into consideration public health and the
environment. Everyone will benefit from this green growth: the market and the