At the Summit in Paris – The Dawn of a New Opportunity


At COP21, the 2015 Paris Climate Conference, 196 nations struck an unprecedented accord meant to tackle the threat of climate change. They resolved to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees celsius over the next 85 years, with the goal of returning temperatures to their pre-Industrial Revolution levels. When viewed in the context of a world plagued by terrorism, war, nuclear threats and political tensions, the agreement is that much more remarkable.


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For Israel, it also offers a unique opportunity to leverage the Start-Up Nation’s technological expertise on behalf of people everywhere. As a global leader in clean-tech, agriculture, water conservation and the fight against desertification – with more than 350 companies active in these fields — Israel can make significant research and development contributions to mitigating the effects of and adapting our way of life to climate change. Israel is now ranked first among 40 nations in the development of clean technologies, with the human and technological resources to play a key role in dealing with the climate crisis.


Yet, Israel is still far from implementing its own expertise: only 2% of its total energy is currently produced from renewable sources. Considering the amount of sunshine Israel enjoys, reaching the goal set in Paris — 17% renewable energy by 2030 – would seem easily within reach, and would also pay significant long-term economic dividends: new jobs, increased tax revenues, greater exports and expanded international commerce.


Setting more ambitious goals will not only enable Israel to export its technological innovations, but will leverage those innovations to help make Israel a model for quality of life, wellbeing and climate “justice” for our planet.