SPEECH BY PRESIDENT PERES AT COP 15
Ladies and Gentlemen! Copenhagen is a hope. It has to be realized. We are here to divorce. We are here to divorce our old mindset of polluting industry and national interest. We are here to engage in a global commitment to save the environment. As the President of a country working towards peace and desiring a clean planet, I wish to join you in the planning for a better future. We have to separate environment from politics. Peace demands to demarcate borders. Climate calls for action regardless of borders. The Mediterranean requires a multilateral taskforce comprised of scientists and experts to build environmental cooperation, independent of political disputes.
I call upon our neighbours, even those with whom we have not yet reached diplomatic relations, to join hands in an effort to save our region. Political disagreements should not hinder environmental cooperation. Carbon molecules carry no passport. Rivers require no visa. Pollution travels with them.
All of us Ė Jews, Muslims and Christians pray that the Jordan River will flow, fresh and holy. My call is the call of the bible upon Adam, to "cultivate and preserve the Garden of Eden".
Dear friends, In the Mediterranean, a growing population meets declining resources. The population has tripled from 150 million to over 400 in thirty years. Water is diminishing. Energy is polluting. For over 60 years of independence, Israel has had to challenge this natural dictate. We didnít allow shortage of water, land or energy to determine our future.
Instead we based our tomorrow on science and technology. Israel just introduced electric car technologies to save up to 50% of the oil consumption. I am encouraged that Denmark, Australia and Hawaii have adopted this technology and are moving in the same direction. New technologies enable us to re-use 75% of our water. Israeli irrigation systems serve millions of acres around the world. Thus, saving up to 30% of the use of water. New grains require less water. Some can even grow with salty water. Comparatively, our agriculture, based on hi-tech, yields the most crops per acre. Our thermo solar and geo thermal energy farms provide renewable-energy in California, Nevada, Spain and other countries. They have already saved up to 30 Million metric tons of CO2 emissions. By 2020, the government will make its best efforts to reduce its CO2 emissions by 20% compared to a business as usual scenario.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Environmental collaboration should not stop the commitment to peace. On the contrary, it may encourage it. Israel outstretches her hand to her neighbors. To nations inside and outside the Mediterranean to partake in our global laboratories and employ Israel as a pilot plant of environmental trials. The government will make proper arrangements to facilitate international participation.
For me, the call of nature is the call of the bible, holy to all of us. I have lived through the upheavals of the 20th century, witnessing tragedies and miracles. Now, I enjoy two great-grandchildren. Indeed, they are my guide for the future. As their great-grandfather, and servant of all children whose future lies in the fate of the global community, I feel at home in Copenhagen. I am obliged like other leaders to make this world clean, healthy, hopeful and meaningful.
So help us God.