image Photo: GPO

Israel, Jordan sign energy MOU

The development signals advancement of a water-for-energy deal.

By Erin Viner

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

The MOU was signed in the presence of United States Special Envoy for Climate John Kerry and UAE Climate Envoy and Industry Minister Sultan al-Jaber, reported the Emirati state WAM news agency.

The joint “Project Prosperity Project” was first announced a year ago. It involves the building of 600 megawatts of solar power capacity by Jordan for export to Israel, which would in turn provide water-scarce Jordan with 200 million cubic meters (mcm) of desalinated water.

Israel’s Energy Ministry said teams from each country have met regularly over the past year to analyze the financial, planning and regulatory aspects of the project, which has now been deemed to be feasible. The signing “expresses the countries’ shared desire to deal with the climate crisis through cross-border cooperation,” said the Ministry.

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

The UAE stated that it will join Israel and Jordan in continued efforts to develop the necessary implementation plans for the project in time for COP28, which is to be held in the UAE next November.