UAE, Israel and Jordan sign major energy, water pact

WAM

The UAE, Jordan and Israel have signed a landmark declaration of intent to build renewable electricity and water desalination capacity, aimed at ensuring energy and water security in the region.

The initiative will see Jordan build 600 megawatts of solar generating capacity which will be exported to Israel, while Israel will provide Jordan with 200 million cubic metres of desalinated water.

Feasibility studies for the programme are due to start in 2022.

The declaration was signed at Expo 2020 Dubai's UAE Leadership Pavilion by Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, UAE Minister of Climate Change and the Environment, Mohammad Al-Najjar, Jordan’s Minister of Water and Irrigation, and Karine Elharrar, Israel’s Energy Minister.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry & Advanced Technology and Special Envoy for Climate Change, and John Kerry, US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, were also present.

Commenting on the declaration, His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said, "This declaration is just one of the positive outcomes of the Abraham Accords that is serving to reinforce regional peace, stability and prosperity, while improving the lives and the future prospects of all the people of the region."

Israel is targeting 30 per cent of its energy coming from renewable sources by 2030, up from a previous target of 17 per cent, as it looks to achieve net zero carbon emissions in the energy sector by 2050.

Jordan is the second most water-scarce country in the world, with annual renewable water resources of just 80 cubic meters per person, significantly below the threshold of 500 cubic meters per person which defines severe water scarcity.

"The UAE is pleased to contribute to an initiative that will help Israel achieve its clean energy targets, while improving Jordan’s access to clean drinking water," explained Dr. Sultan Al Jaber.

"Only by working together can countries in the region rise to the scale of the challenge. Today’s initiative is a welcome example of how cooperation can accelerate the energy transition and build greater resilience to the impacts of climate change," said John Kerry.

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