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climate summit

Israel to work with Gates Foundation on climate change technologies

Bennett: We are taking this on as national mission

Microsoft Founder Bill Gates with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland, on Nov. 2, 2021. (Photo: Haim Zach/GPO)

Israel will begin working with the Gates Foundation on high-tech climate change innovation, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced after he met with the billionaire and vaccine philanthropist Bill Gates at the United Nations Climate Change Conference on Tuesday in Glasgow, Scotland.

"We decided to establish a joint work group between Israel and the Gates Foundation so that we can harness the power of Israeli hi-tech in the global fight on climate change," Bennett announced on Twitter.

Bennett and Gates discussed the importance of recruiting the business and high-tech sectors "in the global fight against the climate crisis," according to a statement from Bennett's office.

The Prime Minister pledged to remove red tape so that innovations can forge ahead.

"Israel is known as the startup nation and I think it's time that we channel our national energy, which is the energy of the people, and the brainpower, to fighting climate change," Bennett said. “We’re going to take this on as a national mission.”

Gates said he believes that climate change can be solved “if we accelerate innovation.”

It's not about mitigation, it is also about innovation and adaptation.

“That’s really what Israel is known for, but not so much in the climate space,” he said, adding it would be good to work with "the brilliant people in Israel thinking of those techniques."

“So we were thinking: How do we connect up and find more people who are doing mitigation type innovation, more people doing adaptation?” Gates said. “Given the talent that you have and what we’ve seen in the digital space, how do we unleash more of that? So I’d love to take that R&D innovation push and figure out where Israel can partner with us.”

Israel's Energy Minister Karine Elharrar said innovation, alongside green energy and increased efficiency, is one of the main tools in the fight against climate change. And Israeli companies, she believes, have the talent and personnel to spur the advancement in these areas.

“Israel can be a very strong power in the climate change fight, and I think a joint venture is really great news for that,” she said.

Nicole Jansezian was the news editor and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS.

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