Towards Rio+20

Towards Rio+20

  •   PM Netanyahu and Environment Minister Erdan

    ​PM Netanyahu: "Israel is pleased to be taking part in the United Nation's Rio Conference on sustainable development. Sustainable development is about doing more with less - an area where 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."

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    Rio+20 Rio+20 Copyright: United Nations
    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 sustainable development.
  • 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 beat.
    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 the world.
    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