Israeli Environmentalists Take on U.S. Over Its Green Agenda

Protest outside U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv timed to coincide with massive non-governmental green summit in Washington.

Greenpeace activists in Israel staged a very visible protest outside the American embassy in Tel Aviv last month over the U.S. commitment to renewable energy.

The dozen or so demonstrators erected four solar panels bearing the slogan "Stop Climate Change, Yes We Can", and laid out a color-by-numbers picture of President Barack Obama. Later they produced a banner bearing the slogan message "Quit Coal," while a volunteer in a polar bear costume posed for pictures with passers-by.

A Greenpeace member who identified himself as Ishai told Haaretz that they hope the campaign will "move the American government to use clean energy and a greener way of working."

The protest, along with others like it around the world, was timed to coincide with the biggest non-governmental green summit in the U.S., when more than 10,000 young people descended upon a freezing Washington D.C. for three days to participate in panels, workshops and debates with one aim - to influence White House policy on renewable energy.

At the heart of the "Powershift 2009" campaign is a bid to unite hundreds of groups in a concerted effort to sway the new administration during its first 100 days.

The events highlight Greenpeace's new strategy of recruiting young people to its cause, as more and more under 30s are becoming aware of the climate problems facing the planet. The summit in Washington included groups from high schools, community colleges and university campuses across the U.S.