By Romana Rubeo
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met American business magnate Bill Gates on the sidelines of the Glasgow Climate Summit COP26, Israeli media reported.
According to The Times of Israel, “The pair agree to establish a working group between the State of Israel and the Gates Foundation in the area of climate change innovation.”
While stating that climate change can only be solved “if we accelerate innovation”, Gates reportedly said: “That’s really what Israel is known for”.
Last March, an Israeli green hydrogen start-up has already secured funding from several investors, including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, established by Gates. Bloomberg reported on March 9 that the “Israeli startup H2Pro joined the race to make cheap green hydrogen after securing investments from funds backed by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates”.
Days before the COP26 summit, Bennett declared that the fight against climate change is a “national security” priority for Israel and vowed to encourage investments in green energy.
However, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh highlighted on Monday the negative impact of the Israeli occupation on the Palestinian environment in a tweet, saying that “the Israeli occupation is the most critical long-term threat to the Palestinian environment.”
In 2014, an international campaign led by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement forced the Gates Foundation to sell down its shares of the world’s largest Private Military and Security Company, G4S.
At the time, War on Want partner and Addameer Palestinian Prisoner and Human Rights Association welcomed the decision in a statement, saying that “it is completely unacceptable for a charitable foundation to be investing in a company, like G4S, which participates in gross human rights violations against Palestinian political prisoners, including child prisoners”.
(The Palestine Chronicle)