Below are the full remarks by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
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 practical steps 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 we will phase out 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. 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.
This is what fuels our innovation and ingenuity. This is where Israel can make a real difference.
Israel may be 60 percent desert, but we managed to make it bloom. We may be in one of the driest places on earth, but we managed to become the world’s number one country in water innovation.
As the country with the most start-ups per capita in the world, we must channel our efforts to saving our world.
But behavioral change will only take us so far.
We’re going to need new inventions and new technologies — that have not yet been imagined.
This is why I say to our entrepreneurs and innovators: You can be the game-changers. You can help save our planet.
Instead of building yet another hyped-up app, launch start-ups that will help solve this global threat.
Our national pivot to climate solutions can only be achieved with the right ecosystem – which is why I set up a Task Force called “The Green Sandbox” to provide funds to help them out and ensure that their path is free of bureaucratic bumps.
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 is the “climate innovation nation” and we’re ready to lead the way.