A ministerial exchange ceremony was held today (Tuesday, 15.6.21) at the Ministry of Energy, when incoming minister, Karine Elharrar, replaced outgoing minister, Dr. Yuval Steinitz.
The incoming Minister, Karine Elharrar, said at the ceremony that “the State of Israel faces many challenges today in the political, environmental and defense arenas, in each of which the Ministry of Energy has a significant and central role to play – one that is essential to the country’s ability to function under emergency and routine conditions, and to take steps to promote the energy economy in Israel, while finding green solutions to reduce environmental damage.
“In the nine years that have gone by since I was elected to the Knesset, I have held a variety of positions and worked in diverse areas, all of which have one connecting thread – concern for Israel’s citizens and their welfare. It is the citizens of the country and their well-being that I see before me as I take up this office, which is so different from positions I have held so far, but which is similar in terms of its impact on public life and which entails importance, depth and a fascinating and inexhaustible professional world of major economic and geo-political influences, which I am currently studying.”
The incoming minister also expressed her thanks to the outgoing minister, saying: “I thank the outgoing minister, my colleague MK Yuval Steinitz, for the handover period during which it was evident how much the ministry and its people are close to his heart, and for his work in the Ministry in the last six years during which he succeeded in bringing about achievements in the field of energy,” and added: “I pledge to learn in order to continue taking the Ministry forward to achievements in all areas, but especially in those areas that will affect the ability of our descendants to live and survive on the planet for the next 70, 100 and 200 years, through promotion of renewable energies and investment in green solutions that will enable us to reduce environmental damage and ease the economic burden on households.”
The outgoing Minister, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, said: “I leave my position as Minister of Energy today with great satisfaction and give thanks for the opportunity I was given to make historic reforms in this important field. The energy sector I leave behind is profoundly different from the one that existed in Israel ten years ago. The Gas Framework enabled development of the natural gas reservoirs while dismantling the monopoly and, in consequence, we succeeded in dramatically reducing the use of polluting coal and diesel oil. I successfully brought about reform in the Israel Electric Corporation, doubled the renewable energy target, and turned Israel into an energy exporter exporting tens of billions of dollars' worth of natural gas to Jordan and Egypt. I also strengthened the water sector through historic reform of Mekorot Water Company, initiated the reverse carrier that will carry desalinated water to the Sea of Galilee and the Galilee streams, and established the East Mediterranean Gas Forum in Egypt.
“I would also like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the Ministry’s executives and employees whose dedication and positive energies have played a significant part in this success. The energy sector is booming; the Ministry of Energy is buzzing with activity and positive energies. I wish incoming Energy Minister Karine Elharrar great success and I hope that I have transmitted all the positive energies in the world to her during the handover period.” In closing his remarks, outgoing Minister Steinitz read excerpts from his book The Battle over the Gas.
In his speech, Ministry Director General, Udi Adiri, thanked the outgoing minister, Dr. Yuval Steinitz, saying: “You have moved the energy economy forward by an era and in your six years here, you have brought it to the Promised Land. Today’s Ministry of Energy is a professional leader, an economic leader, an environmental leader that spearheads innovation and technology, and is a groundbreaking ministry in regional and international collaboration. Thank you for the leeway you gave us and for the trust. I learned a lot from you as a manager and as a human being.”
To the new Minister, the Director General said: “Welcome to a fascinating and principal ministry. A lot has been done in the energy economy in recent years, but the reality is changing even faster. The technology focused on the field is changing at an exponential pace, the challenges of climate change face the entire world, the challenging defense reality on the one hand, and the opportunities being created in the region in light of the peace accords on the other, will all require constant evaluation of the situation, the promotion of courageous policies, out-of-the-box thinking and, above all, relentless action. The responsibility you bear as a minister is heavy, but so too is the capacity for influence and leadership. I wish you well and believe that you will successfully lead the energy economy and the ministry through the great challenges we face.”