Israel is among the 50 nations gathered in Washington DC this week to discuss sustainable development and climate change.

The 2nd GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit, held on Feb.27-28 and hosted in the US Senate, is an opportunity for legislators throughout the world to discuss their countries sustainable efforts as well as meet with leaders from the UN and around the world.

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MK Nitzan Horowitz, of the Knesset’s Environmental-Social Lobby and also a driving force in the Green Knesset initiative, is representing Israel at the conference. In his pre-conference remarks, Horowitz stressed the urgency of finding solutions to climate change and greenhouse gas emissions now.

“The climate crisis is happening here and now, right before our eyes,” Horowitz said in a preview of the remarks for the conference. “The entire world already understands that we must budget resources toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions and curbing climate change.”

While noting that Israel has made significant advances in green technology and sustainable business development, according to Horowitz, Israel has failed to live up to its promises to reduce greenhouse gases.

Previously, Israel had committed to 5 percent clean energy sourcing by 2014. That goal was not reached, placing Israel far behind other countries that have embraced the sustainable energy trend.

“Unfortunately, so far Israel is not part of the global trend,” Horowitz stressed. “Israel promised the international community clear targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but it does not implement its commitments. Even programs already approved by the government do not receive budgets.”

He also said that Israel’s reliance on “dirty” energy sources is a waste of the innovative talents of the Israeli people. “Investors from around the world are interested in Israeli innovation,” he said, “But unfortunately, the State of Israel at this time prefers to invest in older technologies that are older, more polluting and cheaper. This is a short-term perspective, and it is wrong and harmful.”

While at the conference, Horowitz is expected to sign on to a partnership initiative with other legislators, the United Nations and the World Bank, an agreement he hopes will kickstart green legislative reform in Israel as well as promote greater international cooperation on climate change issues.

“I welcome the establishment of an international partnership and hope that it will bring about an acceleration in climate legislation in Israel,” Horowitz said.

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