Israel and Jordan move forward with water-for-energy deal

Israel and Jordan move forward with water-for-energy deal

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Reuters) – Israel and Jordan signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Tuesday to advance a water-for-energy deal after a preliminary examination of the project found it feasible.

First announced a year ago, the idea is for Jordan to build 600 megawatts of solar power capacity to be exported to Israel. In return, Israel will provide 200 million cubic meters of desalinated water to water-scarce Jordan.

The memorandum of understanding was signed at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt at an event hosted by the United Arab Emirates, which in 2020 became the first Gulf state to normalize relations with Israel and was a project partner.

The agreement, called Project Prosperity, was signed in the presence of Sultan al-Jaber, the UAE’s climate envoy and minister of industry, and John Kerry, the US special envoy for climate issues, the emirate’s state-run WAM news agency said in a statement.

Israel’s energy ministry said teams from each country have met regularly over the past year to study financial, planning and regulatory aspects of the project.

Tuesday’s signing, the ministry said, “expresses the countries’ common desire to overcome the climate crisis through cross-border cooperation.”

The Middle East is highly vulnerable to climate change, and this will be the first such partnership between Israel and Jordan.

The UAE, Jordan and Israel will continue to engage in the development of plans for the implementation of the program for COP28, which will be held in the UAE next November, the UAE said in a statement.

(Reporting by Valerie Volkovich and Ari Rabinovitch Editing by David Goodman and Matthew Lewis)

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