Pres. Peres
Pres. PeresIsrael news photo

Following a final decision by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not to attend, Israel will be represented at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this week by President Shimon Peres.

President Peres will highlight Israel’s commitment to addressing climate change, joining 120 heads of state from across the world at the three-day conference.  Thousands of protestors from around the world are not convinced that the leaders plan to make a genuine commitment to Planet Earth; they complained of heavy-handed police treatment when 1,000 of their number were detained on Sunday.

Peres will leave on Wednesday for Copenhagen and will attend the last three days of discussions, including a special signing ceremony for the climate change treaty along with other global leaders.

At the end of last week, Netanyahu announced that because of the heavy costs involved, and because of his tight schedule, he would not travel to Denmark – and asked Peres to represent Israel instead.

The President will deliver a special speech emphasizing the importance of environmental challenges for both Israel and the world. The President’s press office said he will “articulate Israel’s obligation to participate in the global debate on climate change and will stress the active role Israel must play in developing the solution to greenhouse gas emissions.”

In addition, President Peres will meet with Cleantech industry executives to present the leading renewable energy technologies developed in Israel. Peres will also visit the local Jewish community in Denmark, and take part in a Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony there.

On Sunday evening Peres hosts a Chanukah candle-lighting ceremony in Israel for police officers who are recognized as having excelled in their work, and their families. Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch will take part as well.