Historic Energy Agreement

Historic Energy Agreement

The United Arab Emirates, Israel, and Jordan have announced their intention to embark on a large-scale cooperation project to build a solar plant in the Jordanian desert.

As action on climate change is increasingly shaping the international agenda, many countries around the world are turning to renewable energies in the hope of reducing their carbon footprint. Some countries in the Middle East, a region that is particularly vulnerable to global warming, are at the forefront of the global race for sustainable energy. 

This project, considered the largest regional cooperation agreement between Israel and its neighbours, is expected to generate green energy for Israel while Jordan will enjoy direct access to an Israeli desalination plant due to be built on the Mediterranean coast, which will allow the Hashemite Kingdom to overcome its water shortages.

The agreement was signed under the auspices of the United Arab Emirates, which greatly facilitated the negotiations, in Dubai on November 22. The ceremony was held at the Dubai Expo in the presence of John Kerry, US Special Climate Envoy. According to details revealed by The Times of Israel, the Biden administration also played a role in the negotiating phase of the project, which is part of the Abraham Accords that the US helped broker last year. The solar plant is to be built by Emirati government-owned firm, Masdar.

According to Karine Elharrar, Israeli Minister of Energy, this is the most significant cooperation agreement between Israel and Jordan since 1994. Jordan is particularly plagued by the effects of global warming in the region and was working with Israel on its water supply issues even before the normalisation of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Thanks to Israeli technology, Jordan is expected to benefit from up to 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water while the photovoltaic plant is due to supply Israel with as much as 600 MW of green energy. Feasibility studies are expected to start in early 2022.