Israel and Jordan on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to move ahead with a water-for-energy deal after an initial examination of the project found it to be feasible.
The idea, first announced a year ago, is for Jordan to build 600 megawatts of solar power capacity that would be exported to Israel. In return, Israel would provide water-scarce Jordan with 200 million cubic metres (mcm) of desalinated water.
The MOU 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 normalise relations with Israel and has been a partner in the project.
The agreement for what is dubbed Project Prosperity was signed in the presence of UAE climate envoy and industry minister Sultan al-Jaber and U.S. special envoy for climate John Kerry, a statement on Emirati state news agency WAM said.
Israel’s Energy Ministry said teams from each country met regularly over the past year while examining the financial, planning and regulatory aspects of the project.
The signing on Tuesday, the ministry said, “expresses the countries’ shared desire to deal with the climate crisis through cross-border cooperation.”
The Middle East is highly vulnerable to climate change and this will be the first such cooperation between Israel and Jordan.
The UAE, Jordan, and Israel will continue engaging to develop the necessary implementation plans for the project in time for COP28, which is to be held in the UAE next November, the UAE statement said.