Israel ‘will do its part’ to help slow global warming, Netanyahu pledges


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel “will do its part” to help slow global warming under the climate agreement signed in Paris, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“Like the other countries, we have an interest in ensuring that global warming, if it will not be halted, will at least be slowed down – and Israel will do its part,” Netanyahu said Sunday at the weekly Cabinet meeting of the agreement signed by 196 countries on Saturday night in Paris after nearly two weeks of negotiations.

The agreement seeks to reduce greenhouse gases emissions, which are blamed for global warming.

“This is a complex international mission. It is built on the premise that large and small countries alike will not deviate from it,” Netanyahu said. “This demands international discipline, which is not easy, but for the good of humanity, I hope that it will be found. It will certainly be found in the State of Israel.”

The prime minister cited the fact that Israel is a leader in wastewater purification technologies, recycling and water desalination, and has a national plan for alternatives to oil.

“We will reduce greenhouse gas emissions on behalf of future generations,” Netanyahu pledged.

Israel was represented at the talks by Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay and other Knesset members. The Israeli government presented a target of reducing the country’s growth in greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent by 2030, according to Haaretz.

“History will remember this day,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said after the agreement was passed. “The Paris agreement on climate change is a monumental success for the planet and its people.”

The agreement is considered a major diplomatic achievement for the Obama administration, which has made climate change a signature issue, despite major opposition from congressional Republicans.

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