PM Bennett meets with Bill Gates and world leaders at climate conference

November 3, 2021 by Gil Tanenbaum - TPS
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Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has met with Bill Gates, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

Prime Ministers: Naftali Bennett and Boris Johnson

Israel’s Energy Minister Karine Elharrar was also present at the meeting with Mr Gates during which they decided to establish a joint working group for the State of Israel and the Gates Foundation on the subject of innovation in the field of climate change.

As for his meeting with Gates, the two discussed the importance of enlisting the business sector in general, and the high-tech sector in particular, in the global fight against the climate crisis. The Prime Minister said that he would act to remove impediments in Israel in this area.

Mr Bennett noted that Israel is working toward regional cooperation with its neighbours in the energy and water fields. He said whereas the countries of the region had much land but a shortage of water, Israel, which is a very small country, had the ability to generate energy that produces water.

Prime Minister Bennett said at the start of the meeting, “Israel is known as the startup nation and I think it’s time that we channel our national energy, which is the energy of the people, and its brainpower, to fighting climate change.”

Energy Minister Elharrar said that she was excited about the opportunity to take part in a meeting with the man, Bill Gates, who established what she described as one of the world’s most important funds for energy investment. “As someone who believes that innovation, along with the promotion of green energies and efficiency,” said Elharrar, “is one of the main ways to fight the climate crisis, I produced a lot from the meeting about the way the State of Israel can promote Israeli companies in the field of energy.”

Bill Gates and Naftali Bennett

Before the start of his meeting with the Indian Premier, Bennett told those assembled that he credited Narendra Modi with rebuilding the relationship between India and Israel, which, he described as a deep one between two unique civilizations.

“I know it comes from your heart,” Bennett told Modi. “It’s not about interests; it’s about a deep conviction that you harbour and we feel it. On behalf of all Israeli citizens, we deeply appreciate this whole new approach that will go down in history as something that you brought about. So thank you.”

The Israeli premier went on to talk about his previous life running a high tech company and how his company merged with an Indian one. On working with Indians he said, “In the office, there were a bunch of Israelis and Indians, and getting together created a remarkable dynamic of innovation. There’s so much that we can learn from you.”

“This is indeed what we seek to do,” he added. “Our goal is to continue the wonderful path that you placed with my predecessor, and bring it to a whole new level, so we can ensure that our two nations work together on innovation, technology, space, security, agriculture, food technologies, and of course climate-related technologies.”

As for Boris Johnson, Bennett thanked the British Premiere for hosting the event, saying that Johnson had taken world leadership and shown resolve, and given everyone an opportunity to re-evaluate their national policies vis-à-vis climate change.

“I can tell you that regarding Israel, it’s been instrumental, because we have now changed our policy on this and for the first time in our history, committed to zero emissions 2050, and we mean business,” he said. “It’s been a watershed for us.”

Bennett called Johnson “a great friend to Israel” and said that the two would discuss “how we bring our relationship to the next level.”

Bennett also thanked Johnson for intervening when, at her arrival at the conference, Israel’s Energy Minister who is disabled found that the event was not wheelchair accessible.

British Prime Minister Johnson told Prime Minister Bennett that the UK needed to study the booster shot campaign for the Covid virus being carried out in Israel. He noted that the booster campaign was still underway in Britain and added that it needed to “go with Israeli speed”

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