Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Six environmental organizations appealed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, demanding he immediately appoint an environmental protection minister.
Since Amir Peretz’s decision to withdraw from the government two weeks ago (but to remain a Hatnua MK), there has been no environmental protection minister.
The green groups – the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Adam Teva V’Din (Israel Union for Environmental Defense), Zalul, Green Course, Green Now and Life and Environment – expressed concern that without the appointment of a new ministry leader, environmental concerns would fall through the cracks in government decisions.
“It is clear that without a minister leading the ministry’s policies and presenting environmental issues to the government, especially during this time of critical discussions on the state budget, energy and major programs, nature, environment and public health issues are left without a voice,” the organizations wrote in a letter.
Among the many areas under the administration of the minister are air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, preservation of beaches, maintenance of natural resources, recycling, contaminated landscapes and legislation to eliminate free plastic bags, the writers continued.
“Due to the importance of these subjects and their urgency, we call upon you to take immediate action in the appointment of a minister of environmental protection in a full-time position, for all of us,” the letter to the prime minister concluded.