The Knesset held a special plenary sitting on Tuesday to mark World Environment Day. Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein opened the session by saying, ”I am pleased to inform you that some two weeks ago the Knesset completed the tender for the installation of a solar array to create electricity from renewable energy. This array will be set up on 4,650 square meters of the Knesset`s roofs, making it the largest of any parliament in the world. It will showcase the Knesset`s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the framework of the global activity to reduce climate change.”

”Furthermore, numerous measures have been taken by the Knesset`s employees as part of the effort to reduce the amount of waste, reduce the use of paper, switch to recycled paper, save water and more,” Edelstein said. ”The Knesset is also making an effort to expose its employees to the principles of sustainability and encourage environmental thinking and responsibility.”

MK Dov Khenin (Hadash) told the plenary session that almost all of the Knesset`s committees dedicated their debates on Tuesday to environmental issues. In addition, the Social-Environmental Lobby held a major conference, and the Knesset received a ”Green Globe” award from the Life and Environment organization during a ceremony at Chagall Hall.

Environmental Protection Minister Amir Peretz (Hatenua) said, ”Today it is clear to everyone that the environmental issue has broad implications, and one cannot separate social justice from environmental justice.”

”In the environmental war, there are warriors who fight to protect the quality of life in Israel,” the minister continued. ”The public`s voice regarding the environmental issue has reached the government`s table and it influences decisions. We plan to promote legislation that will ban the free distribution of plastic bags at supermarkets, and the price of a bag will be 60 agorot, with 50 of them going to environmental organizations. Prior to enacting this law, we will launch a public relations campaign and distribute reusable shopping bags to the public.”