The first EU-Israel forum on climate policy attracted roughly one thousand participants, who participated online and attended the event at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange on Thursday, a press release on behalf of the EU delegation reported.
The forum is part of the EU Green Deal, an ambitious plan that seeks to reshape Europe as the first climate neutral continent by 2050. This means that in the upcoming three decades Europe will transform its transportation, energy production, agriculture and other aspects to ensure it causes no harm to the environment.
President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen called the Green Deal Europe's "man on the moon moment" in 2019 when the plan was made public.
Headed by Frans Timmermans, the Green Deal is backed by the European Investment Bank with one trillion Euros marked for climate action and environmental sustainability and €100 billion to be used to form a Just Transition Mechanism, meant to ensure that EU countries that rely heavily on coal for energy and will not be hurt by the transition to other energy production methods. Poland, which produces 80% of its electricity from coal, secured will be exempt from the 2050 dead-line requirement. Critics of the Green Deal point out that other member-countries that currently need coal for their energy needs may raise future objections.
The discussions in Tel Aviv were held with a focus on the EU’s commitment to create green and digital ways to gain stability following the coronavirus pandemic.
Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel spoke at the event and stressed that “we need to brand Israel as a leading country, alongside Europe, in the field of environmental protection.”
Head of Delegation of European Union to the State of Israel Emanuele Giaufret said it would be a “natural step” for Israel to take part in the Green Deal due to its “remarkable innovation and technological industry.”