The leaders of India, Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United States agreed on Thursday on initiatives in water, energy, transportation, space, health, and food security.
They convened for the first virtual leaders’ meeting of the “I2U2” Group.
In a statement following the meeting, the leaders said that they intend to mobilize private sector capital and expertise to modernize infrastructure, advance low carbon development pathways for their industries, improve public health, jointly create new solutions for waste treatment, explore joint financing opportunities, and promote the development of critical emerging and green technologies.
The statement reaffirmed support for the Abraham Accords and other peace and normalization arrangements with Israel.
“We welcome the economic opportunities that flow from these historic developments, including for the advancement of economic cooperation in the Middle East and South Asia, and in particular for the promotion of sustainable investment amongst the I2U2 partners,” the leaders said.
“We also welcome other new groupings of countries, such as the Negev Forum for regional cooperation, that recognize the unique contributions of each partner country, including Israel’s ability to serve as an innovation hub connecting new partners and hemispheres to strategically address challenges.”
The inaugural I2U2 leaders meeting focused on the food security crisis and clean energy.
The UAE – home to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and host of COP28 in 2023 – will invest $2 billion USD to develop a series of integrated food parks across India that will incorporate state-of-the-art climate-smart technologies to reduce food waste and spoilage, conserve fresh water, and employ renewable energy sources, said the statement.
India will provide appropriate land for the project and will facilitate farmers’ integration into the food parks. US and Israeli private sectors will be invited to lend their expertise and offer innovative solutions that contribute to the overall sustainability of the project.
According to the statement, these investments will help maximize crop yields and, in turn, help tackle food insecurity in South Asia and the Middle East.
On clean energy, the statement said that I2U2 Group will advance a hybrid renewable energy project in India’s Gujarat State consisting of 300 megawatts (MW) of wind and solar capacity complemented by a battery energy storage system. The US Trade and Development Agency funded a feasibility study for the $330 million project.
UAE-based companies are exploring opportunities to serve as critical knowledge and investment partners. Indian companies are keen to participate in this project and contribute to India’s goal of achieving 500 GW of non-fossil fuel capacity by 2030. Such projects have the potential to make India a global hub for alternate supply chains in the renewable energy sector.