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June 2, 2017 2:59 pm

Israel ‘Not an American Colony’: Environment Minister Confirms Jerusalem’s Support for Paris Climate Accord After US Withdrawal

avatar by Ben Cohen

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Environmentally-friendly solar panels are an increasingly common site on roofs in Israel. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

US President Donald Trump’s decision on Thursday to pull out from the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change elicited little sympathy from the Israeli government, which restated its support for the accord along with a host of other traditional American allies.

“We are not an American colony,” Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister Ze’ev Elkin — a member of the ruling Likud Party — said in a statement. “The working assumption that Israel needs to change something in its conduct because the US president has decided to withdraw is wrong.”

Elkin said that abiding by the agreement had not damaged Israel’s economy, and had improved air quality. “The agreement does not affect the Israeli economy — quite the contrary,” he said. “We placed an emphasis on the decreased use of coal and this is reducing air pollution in the state.”

“Just as Trump said that he was elected to represent Detroit rather than Paris, we were elected to represent Jerusalem and not Detroit,” Elkin observed.

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However, Elkin was less sanguine about the effectiveness of the agreement without the participation of the world’s largest economy.

“We can contribute our part and act to decrease greenhouse gas emissions, but without American involvement the world will have significantly fewer tools to deal with the issue,” Elkin said.

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