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Israel, Jordan and UAE sign key agreement on solar energy exchange

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Israel and Jordan are on track to exchange desalinated water with solar energy after cementing the largest ever partnership between the two nations in a ceremony facilitated by the UAE and in the presence of the US envoy. for the climate. John KerryJohn KerryIsrael, Jordan, UAE Sign Key Agreement on Solar Energy Exchange, GOP Salt Water Demands Oversight Hearing with Kerry on Climate Diplomacy.

Government officials from Israel, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates signed a letter of intent at the Dubai Expo on Monday, paving the way for the future export of Jordanian solar energy in exchange for Israeli desalinated water. This move would not only help quench the thirst of a water-hungry Jordan, but would also change the historic neighborhood of Israel as an energy island and help the country meet its climate targets.

The Middle East is on the front line of the climate crisis and only by working together can countries in the region face the challenge, Kerry wrote on Twitter after the announcement. Today’s agreement is a welcome example of how cooperation can accelerate energy transitions and build greater resilience.

As part of the deal, Jordan would export about 600 megawatts of solar-generated electricity, while Israel would estimate exports of up to 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water to Jordan, a joint news release from the Israeli Ministry of Energy andMinistry of Foreign Affairs of the United Arab Emiratestha. Cooperation was made possible by the Abraham 2020 Agreements, which the countries describe as the opening of a new era of cooperation between the UAE and Israel.

I am pleased to join Jordan, Israel and the UAE as they demonstrate that we can work beyond the lines that have historically divided us and that we can build practical economic links that have an impact beyond the size of the project we are discussing. Here today, Kerry said in a statement.

The agreement includes the implementation of two programs: Prosperity Green, the construction of photovoltaic solar production and storage facilities in Jordan and Prosperity Blue, the establishment of a new desalination plant in Israel, the press release said. Israel already has a strong desalination program, providing about 80 percent of its inland drinking water supplies from Mediterranean water.

This is a message to the whole world on how countries can work together to combat the climate crisis, Israeli Energy Minister Karin Elharrar said in a statement. Israel and Jordan are two countries with different needs and capabilities that can help each other meet challenges in a greener, cleaner and more efficient way.

Jordan, which has an abundance of open spaces and sunlight, will help advance the transition of the state of Israel towards green energy and achieve the ambitious goals we have set, and Israel, which has excellent technology water desalination, will help address water scarcity in Jordan. added Elharrar.

UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed expressed his country’s pride in facilitating a partnership between Israel and Jordan that strengthens climate security and the two countries’ common interests.

This statement is just one of the positive results of the Abraham Agreement that is serving to strengthen regional peace, stability and prosperity, while improving the lives and future prospects of all the people of the region, Zayed said in a statement.

Further details and concrete plans for the implementation of projects will be available by 2022, the joint statement said.

For areport by Axiospublished before the deal said the solar farm would be built by Masdar, a UAE-owned renewable energy firm. The plans, according to Axios, require the facility to be operational by 2026 and produce 2 percent of Israeli electricity by 2030, with Israel paying $ 180 a year to split between Jordan and Masdar.

Israel aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 27 percent from 2015 levels by 2030 and supply 30 percent of electricity from renewable sources by the same year, according to the government’s climate targets.

While Israel is still examining the technical details related to the export of desalinated water, Jordanian Water Minister Mohammed al Najjar underlined the potential of this additional supply to help a Jordanian dry water sector.

The climate crisis and the rising number of refugees have exacerbated the water shortage facing the Kingdom of Jordan, but there are many opportunities for regional co-operation that will help strengthen stability in the sector, Najjar said in a statement.

The vision behind this project, according to Axios, came from EcoPeace in the Middle East, a regional environmental organization with offices in Tel Aviv, Amman and Ramallah.

EcoPeace described the deal as historic on Monday, noting that the organization has long been calling for the advancement of a private sector acquisition for a hydropower deal as part of a regional climate security solution called The blue-green agreement for the Middle East.

It is a win-win situation for all parties and a model for thinking outside the box on climate security, EcoPeace Israel CEO Gidon Bromberg said in a statement, adding that climate change has reached such a crisis point in the Middle East that policy changes need to take place at the regional level.

Without these new agreements, Israel would struggle to meet its renewable energy commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement, and Jordan would struggle to meet the basic water needs of its population, Bromberg added.

Israel and Jordan have a long history of water cooperation, even amid political tensions. Since the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, Israel has maintained some of the Jordan River Kingdoms allocations in the Sea of ​​Galilee and discharged supplies as needed.

Just last month, Elharrar and Najjar met to sign a separate agreement to double the amount of water Israel sends to Jordan.Reported by the Times of Israel.

For nearly 10 years, the two countries have also been working on a possible Red Sea-Dead Sea water diversion initiative, which would have led to the creation of a joint desalination project in southern Jordan, while poured the remaining brine about 200 miles north to be refilled. a declining Dead Sea.

Although the Red Sea Dead Sea project was eventually dismantled, EcoPeace had long been advocating for the exchange of desalinated water and solar energy instead of the larger and much more logistically complicated program.

Monday’s agreement creates a new model for healthy interdependence between countries in our region, according to EcoPeace Jordan director Yana Abu Taleb, who called for the involvement of the Palestinian Authority in the later stages of the agreement.

Jordan for the first time has something of real value to sell to Israel resulting in a much-needed new political lever, Taleb added.

SharonMegdal, director of the University of Arizona Water Resources Research Center and 2012 book editorCommon Boundaries, Common Waters: Israeli-Palestinian and Colorado River Basin Water Challenges, expressed its enthusiasm for such a multinational cooperation on green energy and water supply.

Jordan needs water resources and this project addresses one of the environmental criticisms for seawater desalination, the carbon footprint of the energy required, Megdal told The Hill. The joint effort is evidence that diplomatic, institutional and financial innovations can be combined with technology to facilitate addressing the region’s severe water needs.

Sources

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2/ https://thehill.com/policy/equilibrium-sustainability/582750-israel-jordan-uae-sign-pivotal-deal-to-swap-solar-energy

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