Meet Israel’s ‘Greta Thunberg,’ candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize

Yosef Abramowitz was nominated for the honor by MK Miki Haimovich

Yosef Abramowitz [R] with President Shimon Peres [L], in the middle are US comedian Sarah Silverman and her sister, Rabbi Susan Silverman, who is also married to Mr. Abramowitz.  (photo credit: AMY ZVI)
Yosef Abramowitz [R] with President Shimon Peres [L], in the middle are US comedian Sarah Silverman and her sister, Rabbi Susan Silverman, who is also married to Mr. Abramowitz.
(photo credit: AMY ZVI)
Israeli solar power pioneer Yosef Abramowitz was nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize by Blue and White MK Miki Haimovich.
He is among the 318 known candidates for the prize. A winner is expected to be selected on Friday.
Also known as “Captain Sunshine,” Abramowitz was the first to bring a whole region, with partners, of a country, the Eilat-Eilot region, to a point in which it can get 100% of its energy needs met during the day from solar power.
The move took almost 14 years and set a world record.
He told The Jerusalem Post that this is the fifth consecutive month in which residents of Eilat-Eilot powered their air conditioning and Wi-Fi from renewable energy. He is also working toward having the region become the first to answer both daytime and nighttime needs with green energy by 2025.
His other projects include working toward the transformation of South Sudan’s Juba to become the first African capital to have its energy needs met using solar power.
Abramowitz is one of the few people to build solar panels in sub-Saharan Africa. He said green energy is a basic human right.
“As a family we sacrificed a lot [for this work] and we’re still in a minus,” Abramowitz told the Post. “We expect to start making a profit in roughly three years’ time.”
He also helped a Bedouin village install solar panels, and he is involved with Israeli-Palestinian efforts that join helping the planet with helping the two societies coexist.
Abramowitz said the Jewish concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) is a guiding force behind his work.
“Our investors are IMPACT investors who want to do good, as well as make a return on their capital,” he said.
An observant Jew, Abramowitz also suggested that religion could be a great force in inspiring humanity to care for the planet.
“When it comes to climate, Pope Francis speaks for me,” he told the Post. He also lauded the views presented to him by former Cairo Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa and the work currently being done by Rabbi Jennie Rosenn of Dayenu, a Jewish movement meant to combat the climate crisis.
Swedish 17-year-old green campaigner Greta Thunberg is also a candidate for the prize. Abramowitz lauded her work, calling her a “clear voice which speaks truth to power.”