Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Climate Conference in Paris
(Communicated by the Prime Minister’s Media Adviser)
Following are Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s remarks at the climate conference in Paris today (Monday, 30 November, 2015):
“Thank you Mr. President.
Ladies and gentlemen,
I take this opportunity to again express the solidarity of the people of Israel with the people of France.
Both our peoples have long and bitter experience confronting terrorism. This is not surprising, because Israel and France have in common precisely those qualities that the terrorists seek to destroy: freedom, equality, pluralism, tolerance – democracy.
But the terrorists who struck down innocent people in Paris, well, they make the same mistake as their counterparts who strike down innocent people in Israel.
They fail to realize that those same shared values are the source of our strength – the strength we summon to overcome the pain of our losses, and the strength we summon to defeat the tyranny of the terrorists, the tyranny they seek to impose on our civilization, which always gets stronger, passing each test, overcoming each challenge.
We have to recognize that radical incitement and lies feed terrorism. Those who are committed to peace must fight incitement, must speak the truth.
If President Abbas is committed to peace, he must stop inciting his people against Israel, and start condemning the murder of innocents in Israel.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today we must focus on the security, not just of the nations of the world, but of the world itself.
And even as Israel plays a leading role in the fight against terrorism, we are also playing a leading role in addressing climate change.
This is a pivotal issue of our time. It’s a pivotal issue for developed nations; it’s a pivotal issue for developing nations. We are one planet, and climate knows no bounds.
And I heard the statements made here by representatives of many countries, including from Africa. We understand the distress and the need to have a global solution. Many initiatives have been brought forward in this conference and elsewhere, and I want to say first that Israel is committed to those goals and will act accordingly, in deed and in word to fulfill them.
But of all the solutions that we are talking about, there will be one element that ultimately will decide, in addition to our cooperation, whether we can meet the challenge. And that one element is technology.
Technology gives us the ability to do the unimaginable.
Last year Israel was ranked number one in the Global Clean-Tech Innovation Index.
We are a world leader in making the use of water more efficient, therefore more energy efficient. Israel is the number one recycler of water in the world. It has the highest ratio of water efficiency in the world – 70-80%, this is thanks to innovative technologies like drip irrigation, which I know many of you are familiar with.
For decades, Israel has been a pioneer in solar energy.
We are also developing state-of-the-art techniques to increase crop yields and to make desert agriculture possible.
This all optimizes the use of water and the use of energy, and that’s important for our environment.
My office has launched an initiative to reduce global dependence on crude oil, especially in transportation, by establishing Israel as a global leader in the search for fuel alternatives.
Israel is developing what I can call a smart energy grid, and that includes using residential housing, not merely as a consumer of energy, but as individual plants producing energy. This is truly the wave of the future.
Everything that I’m talking about here has one goal. It’s to optimize our resources; optimize the way we allocate our resources.
Israel has had to optimize all its life. We had no material resources. We had precious water, very little water, we had to do more with less. Since I mentioned water, understand that our rainfall in the 67 years of Israel’s independence has almost halved, our population has grown ten times, our GDP per capita has grown forty times. We have no water problem. We have learned to do more with less. This is what we as a planet must learn to do. We must learn to do more with less.
Israel is a small country with big ideas.
I believe that it’s not enough that we have those ideas, or that we apply those ideas in our own country. We are eager to share them with you, both individually and as a collective body as well.
So I invite you to join us in working to address climate change and other environmental challenges, to make our world a safer, healthier and more peaceful place for our generation and for generations to come.
And since I spoke about efficiency, I think, I’m not sure, but I think I actually kept my time allotted, so I thank you very much for your attendance.
Thank you very much.
Thank you all.”