In his last public remarks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country was ready to take on climate change, but stressed that Israel was not looking to become a global leader in the area.
“It is not about making a statement, it is not a global issue, but a global question,” Netanyahu said in a speech on the sidelines of the United Nations Climate Summit in Morocco.
“Israel is not an American leader, but we want to be part of the solution, and we are willing to take the lead.”
The United States has taken a leading role in global efforts to reduce carbon emissions, with a series of federal initiatives that have led to a global agreement on a new global carbon emission cap and trade system, as well as a carbon price, and other policies aimed at reducing the emissions of the world economy.
But in recent years, as a growing number of American companies have relocated to the United States and as a global economy has become increasingly reliant on American workers, Israel’s ability to play a leading and visible role in the global economy is becoming less and less of a given.
The Israeli prime minister also said the Israeli economy was not in the best position to lead on climate.
“The Israeli economy is not in a position to become the global leader, it can’t become the world leader, and the world needs to be in a better position,” Netanyahu told a news conference in Tel Aviv.
“In the United Kingdom, for example, it took over the world in the 20th century.
It is the largest economy in the world, and it is the biggest employer in the whole of Europe.
Israel has been the biggest beneficiary of that,” Netanyahu added.
Netanyahu’s comments come as the global economic recovery continues and as the Trump administration continues to pursue new trade and investment deals that will benefit American companies, particularly those based in Israel.
On Thursday, the White House announced a $1 trillion plan to modernize the U.S. economy, but on Friday, it announced a new round of tariffs that would apply to imported American goods.
The Trump administration has also signaled that it is willing to pursue more aggressive economic policies, including the establishment of a border tax, a move that is expected to further damage the Israeli-American bilateral relationship.
In the latest sign of how far the Israeli prime minster is willing and able to steer the country, Netanyahu said on Friday that he had signed a memorandum of understanding with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, an ally of the Trump White House.
“I am very happy about this agreement,” Netanyahu, the Israeli premier, told a conference.
“I don’t know what else I could have done.”
The Israeli premier said he was also pleased with the agreement, saying that he was pleased to work with the U,B, and UK governments on these issues.
“Israel’s economy is in good shape, we are in a good position, and this is good news,” Netanyahu responded.
“This is a good day for the entire world, not just for Israel.”
In addition to the $1 billion in tariffs, the Trump government has announced that it will impose a $50 billion price tag on the sale of American agricultural goods to countries in the Middle East and North Africa, in addition to $2 billion in additional sanctions against Iran, Iraq, and North Korea.
The agreement with the United Arab Emirates was announced in the early hours of Thursday morning.
The UAE is one of several Gulf states that are concerned about the prospect of a unilateral U.N. climate pact that would lead to the removal of tariffs on imports from countries that do not have climate-friendly policies.
Some members of the UAE government have also criticized Trump for not supporting a U.A.E. emissions cap on its imports, which would help curb emissions in the country.
UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is also a member of the council, said Friday that Trump should be more involved in climate diplomacy.
“He should be a bit more active on this,” Nahyan said, according to Reuters.
“I think he has not been involved in the issues that we are dealing with in the international climate system.”