Former US Vice President Al Gore on Tuesday told Israelis that they have the technical knowhow and moral aptitude to lead the world in the development of alternative energy.
Gore was speaking at Tel Aviv University's Renewable Energy Conference, where the Nobel laureate was presented with a $1 million prize for his efforts to alert the international community to what he insists is an imminent global environmental crisis.
"We do face a planetary emergency. The phrase sounds shrill to many, but it is unfortunately quite accurate," the Associated Press quoted Gore as telling his audience.
Gore went on to encourage Israel to take a leadership role in moving the world away from the use of fossil fuels. As an enemy of most oil-producing nations, Israel has long sought alternative energy sources, and just this month launched a program to become the first country to introduce electric-powered cars en masse.
A number of Israeli companies are also leading the field in the development of geothermal energy, including Ormat, a company Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page indicated last week they are interested in buying.