08/19/2011 05:55

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan: This project is a huge leap forward in relation to the state of the environment.

The government will award a total of NIS 151 million over the next two years toward projects and investments that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of a widespread effort to achieve a 20 percent reduction in the gases by 2020, the Environmental Protection Ministry announced on Wednesday.

A joint effort between the Environment and the Industry, Trade and Labor ministries, the newly approved budget calls for NIS 40m. to go specifically to projects and commercial installations making use of new Israeli technologies, under the auspices of the Chief Scientist’s Office, a joint statement from the ministries said. Meanwhile, the remaining NIS 111m. will be allocated to other projects and investments geared toward reducing greenhouse emissions, which will be selected by a joint committee of representatives from the Environment, Finance and Industry, Trade and Labor ministries, headed jointly by the Environment Ministry’s director-general and the Industry, Trade and Labor’s director of its Investment Center.

“This project is a huge leap forward in relation to the state of the environment,” Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement. “For the first time, the government in Israel is budgeting unprecedented sums to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. We will continue to do everything in order to live up to international commitments assumed by Israel at the Copenhagen Summit and will also improve air quality in Israel.”

Over the next decade, the Environment Ministry expects to see a total of NIS 2.2 billion invested toward its goal of a 20% reduction in greenhouse gases by 2020, the statement said.

“Israeli industry is a world leader in the field of green energy, and this is an opportunity for authorities, companies, plants and entrepreneurs to bolster the advancement of Israeli technology,” added Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon.

“The integration of environmentally friendly technologies will not only contribute to the reduction of air pollution and global warming, but will also bring savings in energy spending, play a role in strengthening Israeli industry in the green field and develop the global market.”