On Tuesday, the governments of Jordan, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates signed a historic declaration of intent to build renewable electricity and water desalination capacity and address the threat posed by climate change to the region’s energy and water security.
Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change, and John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate Change, witnessed the signing at the UAE Leadership Pavilion at Dubai Expo.
The declaration was signed by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Jordan’s Minister of Water and Irri, and Mohammad Al-Najjar, Jordan’s Minister of Climate Change and the Environment.
The declaration of intent is made up of two interdependent and contingent parts.
One company, Prosperity Green, intends to build 600 MW solar photovoltaic plants in Jordan, with all clean energy produced being exported to Israel.
The second project, Prosperity Blue, is a long-term water desalination project that will be built in Israel and will supply Jordan with up to 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water.
The project’s feasibility studies are set to begin in 2022.
“Climate change is already having a major impact on countries and communities in the Middle East,” said Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in response to the declaration. As we prepare to host COP28 in the UAE in 2023, this declaration demonstrates that all nations can work together to accelerate the energy transition and create a more sustainable future for all.” The UAE is pleased to have played a role in bringing Israel and Jordan together in an initiative that strengthens both countries’ climate security and common interests.
This declaration is just one of the positive outcomes of the Abraham Accords, which are helping to strengthen regional peace, stability, and prosperity while also improving the lives and future prospects of all people in the region.”
“Climate change and the influx of refugees have exacerbated Jordan’s water challenges,” Mohammad Al-Najjar said, “but there are many opportunities for regional cooperation to help increase sector sustainability.” Water desalination is an important component of our overall strategy for the water sector’s sustainability, and we are always looking for new ways to help increase water supply, such as receiving up to 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water as part of this declaration.”
“The declaration of intent that we are signing today benefits not only the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, but the entire region,” Karine Elharrar said.
“I am grateful to all of our Jordanian, Emirati, and American partners for working tirelessly with us to develop and promote these innovative solutions that will help us deal with the effects of climate change in the region.”
“Two countries with distinct needs and capabilities, each assisting the other in meeting its challenges in a cleaner, greener, and more efficient manner.” Jordan has an abundance of land and sunshine, which is ideal for solar panel fields, energy solutions, and storage, and Israel has desalinization plants that can assist Jordan with its water scarcity.”
“Today’s achievement is a powerful demonstration of how progressive climate action can not only enhance resource security, but also serve to build bridges between peoples and reinforce regional stability,” said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber. The UAE is pleased to support an initiative that will assist Israel in meeting its clean energy targets while also improving Jordan’s access to safe drinking water. This is the type of inclusive climate action that combines good policy, creative thinking, and the spirit of true partnership to achieve practical results that extend far beyond the immediate region.
“Following the UAE’s confirmation as the host of COP 28 in 2023, the UAE is eager to demonstrate how this region can raise climate ambition in ways that contribute to long-term development, stability, and prosperity.” Today’s declaration is an excellent example of this, on which we can build.”
“The Middle East is on the frontlines of the climate crisis,” said John Kerry. Only by working together will the region’s countries be able to meet the challenge’s magnitude. Today’s initiative is a positive example of how collaboration can hasten the energy transition and increase resilience to the effects of climate change.
“The United States is impressed by the parties’ courageous and creative actions that enabled this declaration, and looks forward to working with the parties, as well as others in the region and around the world, to turn our shared climate challenge into an opportunity to build a more prosperous future.”
Israel is aiming for 30 percent of its energy to come from renewable sources by 2030, up from 17 percent previously, as it strives to achieve net zero carbon emissions in the energy sector by 2050.
Jordan is the world’s second most water-scarce country, with annual renewable water resources of only 80 cubic meters per person, far below the 500 cubic meters per person threshold that defines severe water scarcity.