Yesterday, the United Arab Emirates, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and Israel signed a declaration of intent aimed at promoting clean electricity production and water desalination, by finding practical solutions to the repercussions of climate change and its effects on energy and water security in the region.
The announcement was signed by the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, Maryam bint Muhammad Saeed Hareb Al Muhairi, the Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation, Eng. Muhammad Al-Najjar, and the Israeli Minister of Energy, Karen Al-Harr, at the UAE pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, in the presence of the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, the UAE’s Special Envoy for Climate Change Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, and US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Affairs John Kerry.
The declaration of intent includes one project consisting of two interrelated axes, namely, the “Green Prosperity” program, which includes the development of solar photovoltaic power plants in Jordan with a production capacity of 600 megawatts, provided that all clean energy production is exported to Israel, and the “Blue Prosperity” program, which It aims to develop sustainable water desalination projects in Israel to supply Jordan with about 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water, and work on feasibility studies for this project is scheduled to begin in 2022.
His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said: “Climate change imposes many negative consequences on countries and societies in the Middle East… As the UAE prepares to host the COP28 climate conference, this important announcement confirms the keenness of the countries of the region to work together from In order to enhance energy and water security and build a more sustainable future for all.”
His Highness added: “We are proud in the UAE to contribute to the formulation of an initiative that brings together Jordan and Israel, and contributes to enhancing energy, water, climate security and the common interests of both countries. This step represents one of the fruits of the Abrahamic agreements aimed at promoting peace, stability and prosperity at the regional level, and improving living conditions and opening up better future prospects for all the peoples of the region.”
For his part, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber said: “In line with the leadership’s vision, this announcement stresses the importance of finding practical solutions and opportunities for economic growth through climate action that contributes to enhancing resource security. This step also contributes to building bridges of cooperation and enhancing stability and growth on the At the regional level, the UAE is proud to participate in this initiative, which contributes to providing fresh water to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, as well as helping to achieve the goals of the State of Israel in the field of clean energy.”
He pointed out that the UAE’s hosting of the COP28 climate conference in 2023 confirms the country’s keenness to strengthen joint efforts in the field of climate action and find solutions that contribute to creating opportunities for economic growth, advancing sustainable development and achieving stability and prosperity.
Jordanian Minister of Water and Irrigation, Engineer Muhammad Al-Najjar, said: “Climate change and the influx of refugees have contributed to exacerbating water challenges in Jordan.. But there are many cooperation opportunities at the regional level that would contribute to enhancing sustainability within the sector.. Desalination is an essential component of our strategy. comprehensive water sector sustainability.
Israeli Energy Minister Karen Al-Harr said: “The importance of the declaration that we are signing today and the benefits it entails are not limited to the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, but also include the entire region, as it represents a message to the world that countries must cooperate and unite efforts to combat the crisis. the climate”.
US Presidential Climate Envoy John Kerry said: “The Middle East region is at the forefront of the regions affected by the consequences of the climate crisis, and countries in the region can overcome this challenge by strengthening cooperation and joint action… Today’s initiative embodies a living example of the importance of cooperation and what it can lead to. Results that contribute to accelerating the energy transition process and taking more flexible measures to address the effects of climate change.”
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan ranks second in the world as the country most suffering from water scarcity, as the annual per capita share of renewable water resources is only 80 cubic meters, which is much lower than the specified rate of 500 cubic meters per capita, which reveals severe water scarcity.
Israel aims to provide 30% of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2030, an increase of 17% from the target it previously set, as it looks to reach a zero-carbon energy sector by 2050.
This announcement became possible after the signing of the peace treaty between the UAE and Israel last August, which opened a new era of cooperation between the two countries.