Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met Tuesday with Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Bill Gates at the United Nations COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
Israeli Energy Minister Karine Elharrar also participated in the meeting.
"Israel is known as the start-up nation," the prime minister told Gates. "I think that it's time that we pivot and channel our national energy ... to fighting climate change."
"In Israel, there's roughly 4-5,000 entrepreneurs who have already done a round, so they would be second-time entrepreneurs. I think that rather than building another internet app or something, we can channel this for one of the biggest missions of our generation, which is to create a future for our children and grandchildren."
Gates responded: "My big belief is we that can solve climate change if we accelerate innovation. Green products today are quite expensive. Green cement, green steel, and we can't afford to subsidize that."
"In your first career and my first career, innovation was the key, and not so much in the climate space," he said.
"We not only need innovation in climate mitigation, to reduce the emissions, we also need a lot of innovation and adaptation. And this is in the Gates Foundation, we do agriculture, including both seed and livestock work.
"And so, understanding, 'Ok, where are the brilliant people in Israel who are thinking about these new techniques?' The seeds are going to have to be very different to deal with the high temperature. You're already dealing with drought conditions, but that's gonna be more widespread," he said.
Gates said his foundation was very interested in "unleashing" Israeli innovation and research and development to fight climate change.