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Herzog at COP27 summit: ‘Middle East is on the brink of catastrophe’

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter.

President Isaac Herzog addresses a plenary session of leaders at the UN COP27 climate conference in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt on November 7, 2022. (Haim Zach/ GPO)
President Isaac Herzog addresses a plenary session of leaders at the UN COP27 climate conference in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt on November 7, 2022. (Haim Zach/ GPO)

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — While the Middle East teeters on the brink of climate calamity, Israel stands ready to lead the effort towards climate resilience in the region, President Isaac Herzog tells world leaders at the UN COP27 climate conference in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

“With studies forecasting imminent, severe consequences for our region, the Middle East is on the brink of catastrophe,” he says. “Here in Sharm el-Sheikh, I wish to reiterate the State of Israel’s solid commitments to achieving net zero carbon emissions and to transitioning from fossil fuels to renewable energy by 2050.”

“But Israel is prepared to assume far greater responsibility,” Herzog adds. “Israel is prepared to lead the effort towards regional climate resilience. I intend to spearhead the development of what I term a ‘renewable Middle East’ — a regional ecosystem of sustainable peace.”

Issuing an invitation to all to visit Israel’s first ever pavilion at a COP event, Herzog says he envisions that solar energy produced in the deserts of the Middle East can be exported to Europe, Asia, and Africa “in the foreseeable future.”

“I believe that all Middle Eastern nations, abundant with sun and technology, will have the ability to connect the rest of the world to a magnificent source of renewable energy,” he says.

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