The ”Green Roofs” conference, which was held at the Knesset for the first time on Monday (and for the seventh time in Israel), is a joint initiative of the Knesset, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Kadas Green Roofs Ecology Center at the University of Haifa.

At the opening of the conference, MK Dov Khenin (Joint List), who is spearheading the ”Green Knesset” project, and Knesset Secretary Yardena-Meller Horowitz noted the importance of parliament`s environmental initiatives, which serve as an example for many institutions in Israel and around the world.

A ”green roof” is a roof of a building that is partially or completely covered with vegetation and a growing medium, planted over a waterproofing membrane. It may also include additional layers such as a root barrier and drainage and irrigation systems.

According to a report prepared ahead of the conference by Attorney Yaron Unger of the Knesset`s Legal Department, unlike other countries, such as Germany and the United States, ”In Israel there is no primary legislation which requires the construction of green roofs or encourages the construction of such roofs.”

Dr. Samuel Chayen, the Sustainability Coordinator of the ”Green Knesset” project, told the conference that following the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, the Israeli government decided to designate NIS 300 million for grants to companies and local government authorities that want to invest in energy efficiency projects.