Israel, Jordan sign climate cooperation agreement in Dubai

Jordan will build a designated solar field and export 600 megawatts to Israel, and work on solar energy storage solutions.

 Israel's Energy Minister Karin Elharrar is seen signing a climate cooperation deal with Jordan in Dubai, on November 22, 2021. (photo credit: Courtesy)
Israel's Energy Minister Karin Elharrar is seen signing a climate cooperation deal with Jordan in Dubai, on November 22, 2021.
(photo credit: Courtesy)

Israel and Jordan signed an agreement to work together to meet the challenges of climate change, mediated by the United Arab Emirates and the US, at a ceremony in Dubai on Monday.

According to the agreement, Jordan will build a designated solar field and export 600 megawatts of electricity to Israel, and work on solar energy storage solutions.

At the same time, Israel will examine the possibility of exporting 200 million cubic meters of water to Jordan, which would come from a designated desalination plant. It would be sold at full price, contrary to the water Israel exports to Jordan under the terms of the peace treaty between the two countries.

Energy Minister Karin Elharrar, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment Mariam Al Mheiri, Jordanian Water Minister Mohammed al Najjar and US Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry gathered at the World Expo in Dubai on Monday, for the first three to sign the declaration of intentions to build the solar field and desalination plant.

The details of the plans are expected to be finalized during 2022.

 The sign of Dubai Expo 2020 is seen at the entrance of the site in Dubai, United Arab Emirates January 16, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/RULA ROUHANA ) The sign of Dubai Expo 2020 is seen at the entrance of the site in Dubai, United Arab Emirates January 16, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/RULA ROUHANA )

UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed pointed out that Jordan has been suffering from a lack of water as a result of climate change, which is expected to have a great impact on the Middle East.

“The declaration signed emphasizes how countries can work together to accelerate changes to [green] energy and build a more sustainable future for everyone,” he said.

The agreement between Israel and Jordan “will strengthen climate security and shared interests of the two countries.”

Bin Zayed said the declaration is another result of the Abraham Accords, which “strengthen peace, stability and prosperity for states in the region and the lives and futures of their residents.”

Elharrar said the entire Middle East will benefit from the agreement, which shows how countries can work together to fight climate change.

“Israel and Jordan are two countries with different needs and abilities helping one another deal with challenges in a green, clean and efficient way,” she said. “Jordan has plenty of open space and sunlight, which will help Israel move over to green energy and meet the ambitious goals we set, and Israel, with excellent desalination technology, will help Jordan with its water crisis.”

Al Najjar said Jordan’s water crisis comes from climate change as well as an increase of refugees in the country.

“Desalination is an important component in stabilizing Jordan’s water market, and we are constantly looking at ways to increase supply,” he stated.

Kerry called for countries in the Middle East to work together against climate change, and he called the agreement an excellent example of this.

The US “is impressed by the courage and the creative steps being taken by the sides to make this declaration possible, and expects to work with the sides... to turn the shared challenge of climate change into an opportunity to build a more prosperous future,” he said.