Towards Rio+20 - PM Netanyahu and Environment Min Erdan
PM Netanyahu: "Sustainable development is really about doing more with less.
And in this area, doing-more-with-less, Israel is pretty tough to beat."
Minister Erdan: "The time has now come for us to serve as a global
laboratory for the development and application of innovations that can
provide safe and clean food, water and energy under conditions of growing
natural resource scarcity."
Rio+20 - The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development will take
place on June 20-22, 2012 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.
The conference focuses on two main themes: Building a green economy to
achieve sustainable development and lifting people out of poverty, while
improving international coordination for sustainable development. Much has
been done in Israel over the past decade to meet the challenges of
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:
Israel is pleased to be taking part in the United Nation's Rio Conference on
sustainable development. Sustainable development is really about doing more
with less. And in this area, doing-more-with-less, Israel is pretty tough to
Take water. Israel today is a world leader in water efficiency. We reuse 77%
of our municipal wastewater. That's almost all of it. The second best
country in the world uses 17%. That's a pretty big difference. Israel is
also the world leader in drip irrigation. Over 90% of our irrigated crops
use drip irrigation. So due to these and other innovations, Israelis use
less water per capita today than we did a few decades ago, even though we
are considerably more affluent. That really beats the world trend.
What about food? Well here too, Israel has been a leading innovator. For
example, thirty years ago, a visionary Israeli founded the first
computerized dairy farm in Kibbutz Ofikim in the Jordan Valley. Soon, Afikim
became the world's leader in milk yields. And today, this kibbutz is
exporting its know-how and computerizing farms in over 50 countries around
In energy, Israeli companies have been leaders in solar-thermo technology
for decades. These are all things that Israel has already done. But I think
that Israel's most significant contributions to sustainable development are
yet to come. In water, Israel is developing cutting-edge technologies in
desalination, conservation, and many other areas.
In food, leading research institutions such as the Volcani institute,
Israel's famous research arm, is making remarkable discoveries that could
revolutionize agricultural production across the world.
In energy, Israel has launched a national initiative to end the world's
worst addiction - the addiction to oil. This addiction fuels terrorism and
poisons our planet. And we plan to spend over 400 million dollars on this
program over the next decade. At the same time, we're also encouraging the
development of a local market for electric cars. We expect Israel to be the
laboratory for the alternative cars of tomorrow, and a global center for
technologies and innovations in this field of transportation.
So when it comes to sustainable development, the future in Israel looks very
bright. Israel may be the world champion at doing more with less. But in the
future, we intend to do a lot more with a lot less.
Minister of Environmental Protection Gilad Erdan: