Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Israel's energy minister said this week that the country aims to eliminate the use of coal, gasoline and diesel fuel by 2030.
Speaking at an energy conference in Tel Aviv, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said the country's manufacturing and transportation industries will be fueled entirely by natural gas, electricity and alternative fuels within the next 12 years.
"From 2030 onward, the state of Israel will create alternatives and will no longer allow the import of cars that run on gasoline and diesel fuel," Steinitz said.
Steinitz acknowledged the move might disturb energy and fuel companies, but said Israel's 2030 goal will move forward.
"I'm not going to give in to any pressure," he said.
Israel gets about 70 percent of its electricity from natural gas. The rest comes mainly from coal. That's a significant difference from just five years ago when coal accounted for more than half of Israel's electricity.
Steinitz said the government "abolished the strategy of diversification of fuels" to have natural gas as its only fuel source for electricity.
"There is a historic opportunity to transform Israel into one of the first Western countries in which energy is produced with zero pollution and harm to the environment," he said.