gilad erdan 298 88.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Addressing the government’s ability to solve the housing crisis, Environmental
Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said he felt that intrinsic to preserving the
economy and providing affordable housing to all is the duty to “comply with
environmental demands,” the minister told The Jerusalem Post during an interview
on Wednesday afternoon.
“The ‘tycoons’ or those who own big companies
because they don’t want to comply with environmental demands, they drove the
issue as something that is for rich people – after you solve problems, if you
have time, then fight for an endangered species. Tree huggers aren’t important,”
Erdan told the Post.
“It’s exactly the opposite. Everyone knows
today environment and economy go together. When economy is good, it costs less –
save electricity, pollute air less and save money. The same with water, and
public transportation – if you invest in public transportation, you reduce air
pollution and save money for public instead of using private
Having been instrumental in initially suggesting
Prof. Manuel Trajtenberg as the appropriate appointee for Netanyahu’s
housing advisory committee, Erdan said that he met with Trajtenberg last week to
discuss “how to combine environmental protection issues with costs of
The committee, he said, can take significant steps that will
both improve the environment and reduce costs for families across the board. For
example, the committee can encourage builders to erect their buildings in such a
way so that there is less of a need for air conditioning, institute methods of
recycling water within buildings and enforce legislation regarding waste
separation and recycling – all of which Erdan estimated would save each family
hundreds of shekels every month.
itself, the minister argued, is also used by far too small a share of the
“In Israel there is a gap – builders don’t live in green
buildings, they sell them,” Erdan said. “Those who pay the bills every month –
electricity, water – are those who live there for the next 20-30 years. If we
force green standards on builders, those who live in the buildings save money
Meanwhile, repairing neglected pipes would allow people to
drink water straight from the tap, rather than purchasing mineral water or
filters, as twothirds of the population are currently apt to do, which would
also save families hundreds of shekels each month, according to the
“This is a basic need of human beings which you are entitled to
get from your government,” Erdan said. “Not to mention the fact that for one
billion plastic bottles, we now need trucks all over Israel to deliver mineral
water, endangering those driving on the roads, polluting the air and creating a
lot of plastic waste. If the government takes care and rehabilitates the
infrastructure of water in Israeli cities, people can go back to using tap
By taking into account the fact that “the environment and economy
are combined,” Erdan said he was confident that the housing situation would
improve, and with the independent experts on the committee, the minister was
certain that Trajtenberg would come up with a good plan.
“At the end of
the day, even politically, the people will see we took it seriously, implemented it, to make things better in Israel,” he said.