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November 7, 2022 12:27 pm
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‘Renewable Middle East’: At Egypt’s Climate Summit, Israel’s Herzog Seeks Energy Cooperation with Jordan, UAE

avatar by Sharon Wrobel

President Isaac Herzog meets with his Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan at COP27 climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. Credit: Haim Zach (GPO)

Israeli President Isaac Herzog arrived on Monday in Egypt to lay out Israel’s vision of a renewable Middle East and meet with his United Arab Emirates’ counterpart and Jordanian King Abdullah II to discuss trilateral cooperation on energy and water projects.

Herzog is leading a large Israeli delegation of entrepreneurs and government ministers to the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP27, held in Sharm el-Sheikh, where he will inaugurate Israel’s first-ever COP27 exhibition pavilion.

Israel, Herzog said, is seeking to forge partnerships with regional neighbors for a greener and more sustainable future as the country is poised to become a hub for climate-related technologies.

“The Middle East faces mighty challenges,” Herzog said. “I will present the Israeli vision that I call the ‘Renewable Middle East,’ in which Israel and regional states will cooperate to provide major solutions for the climate crisis.”

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On the sidelines of the climate conference, Herzog also met with UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who he called his “friend.” Also participating in their meeting was UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

“We discussed Israeli-Emirati cooperation on climate issues and regional developments in the Middle East,” Herzog tweeted.

During his first meeting with Rishi Sunak, Herzog congratulated Britain’s prime minister, who entered office last month. The two leaders talked about “deepening the friendship between Israel and the United Kingdom and joint economic climate ventures,” as well as “security challenges, chiefly the Iranian nuclear project,” according to a statement by Herzog’s office.

Sunak thanked Herzog and said: “Israel is one of our closest friends, our closest allies, and there is an enormous amount for us to continue working on together, whether it’s economic cooperation, security cooperation, or indeed, climate change, that we’re here discussing.”

Upon his arrival at the climate summit, Herzog was greeted by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

Ahead of the conference, Israel’s cabinet last month approved a new action climate plan calling on all government ministries by the end of 2023 to draft and present readiness plans to prepare for the effects and damage caused by climate change. The plans will be formulated according to climate change scenarios drawn up by the National Emergency Authority (NEA) and the Environmental Protection Ministry, including heat waves, wildfires, storms and extreme cold.

Earlier this year, Israel passed its first climate bill on its first reading in the Knesset. The passage of the bill is part of a national strategy to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

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