Below are Prime Minister Bennett's full remarks he delivered before the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 1, 2021.
Mr. Secretary General,
As we gather here today in Glasgow, we know that history will judge our generation’s response to this threat not by how ambitious we are, but by the actions we take.
Israel is at the beginning of a revolution on climate change. We recently started implementing our 100-Step Plan, which means that we’re currently doing more to promote clean energy and reduce greenhouse gases, than at any other time in our country’s history. For the first time, Israel is committing to cutting greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, and will phase out of the use of coal by 2025.
Yes, we’re making progress, but let’s be real: Israel is a small country. We’re less than a third of the size of Scotland. So, our carbon footprint may be small, but our impact on climate change can be mighty.
If we’re going to move the needle, we need to contribute Israel’s most valuable source of energy: The energy and brainpower of our people. You see, this is what fuels our innovation and ingenuity. This is where Israel can make a real difference. Israel may be 60% desert, but we've managed to make it bloom. We may be in one of the driest places on earth, but we've managed to become the world’s number one country in water innovation.
As the country with the most startups per capita in the world, we must channel our efforts to save the world. Behavioral change alone will only take us so far. We’re going to need new inventions and new technologies that have not yet been even imagined.
And this is why I call upon our entrepreneurs, our innovators, in Israel and across the world: You can be the game changers. You can help save our planet. You see, instead of building yet another hyped-up internet app, why don't you launch startups that will help solve this global threat?
Israel's national pivot to climate solutions can be only achieved with the right ecosystem. We've done it before. This is why I set up a task force called The Green Sandbox, to provide funds to help the entrepreneurs out and ensure that their path is free of bureaucratic bumps.
My friends, as we work to keep people safe today, we will also be working for the resilience of tomorrow, where our children will breathe cleaner air, drink cleaner water and live in a world that treats the planet better than we did. Israel can become the climate innovation nation and we’re ready to pave the way.
Thank you very much."
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.