A few weeks ago Maurice Picow of Green Prophet posted about the Jewish Response to the Energy Challenge (JREC) conference in San Francisco. The conference, which was organized by the American Jewish Committee (AJC) and took place this Sunday, brought together Jewish leaders in the clean tech and environmental fields to discuss ending oil-dependency for Israeli national security and the importance of future cleantech projects between the US and Israel.
The conference included a Jerusalem satellite event in which Isaac Berzin, the Director of the Institute for Renewable Energy Policy and one of Time Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential People of 2008, spoke about his vision for alternative liquid fuel, specifically algae. Berzin made the point that Israel will be more secure when countries such as China and India turn to alternative fuels and stop buying oil from Iran which funds terrorism.
Berzin’s keynote (which can be viewed above) was followed by a diverse panel that discussed viable alternative energy solutions to oil and the own challenges they hold from the political, environmental and health perspectives. In addition, the panel discussed the importance of US-Israel partnerships for funding start-ups.
Making up the panel were Berzin; Hezi Kugler, Israeli Clean Energy Alliance; Astorre Modena, General Partner at Terra Venture Partners; Dr. Gal Loft, Executive Director of the Institute for the Analysis of Global Security; Richard Laster, Professor of Environmental Law at Hebrew University. The discussion was moderated by Z’ev Gross, Head of Infrastructure Resources Management Division in the Ministry of National Infrastructures.
Perhaps the most interesting discussion of the evening took place during the Q&A session at the end when suggestions for Israel going green were passionately discussed among audience members and panelists. When it comes to how to get more Israelis to embrace alternative energy and the use of money to get people to become energy efficient, several members of the audience disagreed with the panelists and explained that a carbon tax like the one France recently implemented is the only viable option.