MOHAMMAD GHAZAL (DUBAI)
The UAE-hosted COP28 has clearly achieved multiple notable successes on different fronts from day one considering the multiple major announcements made during the event, Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh said in an exclusive interview with Aletihad on Monday.
Jordan stands behind the UAE in holding this successful conference, PM Khasawneh added. Jordan has been a staunch supporter of the UAE’s hosting of the Conference of the Parties. Since the UAE won the presidency of the global conference, Jordan has been confident of its success, as the UAE has made prominent, and significant strides in protecting the environment, reducing greenhouse emissions, diversifying energy sources, and moving towards renewable and clean energy, the Prime Minister said.
PM Khasawneh noted that the Ministry of Environment in Jordan has been a member of the advisory committee established for the preparation of COP28 from day one. “The least that could be said about the relationship we share with the UAE is that they are strategic, distinguished and fraternal. There is a distinguished relationship that brings together His Majesty King Abdullah II bin Al Hussein and His Highness the Crown Prince Al Hussein with His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the UAE leadership. This relationship is strategic between the two countries,” Khasawneh told Aletihad.
The conference, which witnessed the first global stocktake during which countries assess progress in implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement, has already witnessed many successes, he said. President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Friday announced the establishment of a $30 billion fund for global climate solutions. Designed to bridge the climate financing gap and facilitate affordable access, the fund aims to stimulate the raising and investment of $250 billion by 2030.
This was revealed during His Highness’ opening of the World Climate Action Summit, held during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) at Expo City Dubai. “We are pleased with the announcement of the launch of a $30 billion fund. I was informed yesterday that this figure has doubled since its announcement. This is a historic, pioneering, and significant initiative by the UAE,” PM Khasawneh said.
The Premier said COP28 has succeeded in setting a distinguished course of action and agenda that is unlike previous conferences. “There have been many major announcements and the launch of the fund for loss and damage is a fundamental and very important step that we support and will work together on,” the Prime Minister added.
“We truly congratulate the United Arab Emirates on the prominent and significant success, which was evident from the first days of the conference. In fact, we have a common fundamental goal expressed by His Majesty the King on several occasions that this small planet must be protected by all of us, including its targets and reducing the Earth’s temperature by 1.5 degrees and reducing emissions. Otherwise, there is a fundamental threat to our life and livelihood on this planet,” he added.
The interaction and cooperation between the two countries in the field of renewable energy and climate action is exemplary in this regard. “We will continue this strategic, ideal, and distinguished cooperation with the United Arab Emirates,” he noted. “In fact, I must point out that COP28, which we are now in its fourth day, has clearly achieved notable and various successes, especially as it is the first conference after the Paris Climate Conference that includes a global stocktake of carbon targets by the parties,” he added.
“We are with our brothers in the United Arab Emirates, with whom we have deep-rooted, strategic, and exceptional brotherly relations, especially at the leadership level between His Majesty the King and his brother His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, President of the United Arab Emirates.
“I had the honour of accompanying the King to the Emirates a month ago, where we announced an investment package amounting to around 5 billion US dollars for potential investment projects in Jordan, including many projects with environmental dimensions and impact on the green economy, in addition to a development package to support developmental projects in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan worth 400 million US dollars,” he said.
During the visit of the King of Jordan to the UAE last month, a memorandum of understanding worth $2 billion was signed between the two sides. This aims to establish a framework for investment cooperation in key areas including infrastructure and development projects. ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, announced during the visit the conclusion of a strategic partnership agreement with the Jordanian Investment Fund to establish a joint investment fund between the two parties.
This partnership embodies ADQ’s commitment to enhancing sustainable development initiatives in Jordan and the region. Together with the Jordanian Investment Fund, by combining their expertise, resources, and capabilities, they aim to develop infrastructure and export industries and encourage innovation that aims to have a sustainable impact on the Jordanian economy.
The Prime Minister stated that the political relations are identical between the two brotherly countries and their definition of hard risks and risks related to the environment.
On the bilateral level, Jordan has many projects with the UAE that are oriented towards reinforcing the idea of transitioning to an environmentally friendly economy. “This includes several joint projects that we are in the process of studying in relation to water recycling, and in Jordan, there are many solar power stations based on Emirati investments, mainly by Masdar Company in the field of wind and solar energy,” the Premier said, highlighting several UAE investments in the field of renewable energy in Jordan.
Discussions are underway between the UAE and Jordan within the framework of Industrial Partnership for Sustainable Economic Growth.
“We are working on a joint project in green ammonia, but it has not yet been completed. It is currently in the study phase and we hope it will see the light soon,” Khasawneh added. On the sidelines of COP28, Jordan launched one of the initiatives related to the protection of the seas and coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba, which have different characteristics from the coral reefs in other regions.
“This can benefit the restoration of coral reefs around the world, especially in light of increasing encroachments on these reefs,” he said. Jordan, the PM said, is in the process of establishing Aqaba Aquatic Research Center with support from the Abu Dhabi Ports Company, the main developer of the land where this scientific marine research complex will be located.
“This aims to protect the marine environment in the oceans. Prior to this, we announced that a seven-kilometre area of the Gulf of Aqaba is a protected natural area, and we have submitted a request to UNESCO to treat it as such,” he added.
UAE’s Green Success
There has been a significant and successful shift in the UAE, reflected in the form and mix of energy production in the UAE, PM Khasawneh said. “This success has impacted Emirati investments abroad, which provide a positive carbon balance and carbon credits for the UAE, successfully reducing emissions. We have achieved our energy targets in Jordan, with approximately 28% of our energy mix coming from clean and renewable energy, and 18.4% of all vehicles in Jordan operate on clean energy,” he said.
“We coordinate these targets with the UAE and work together to achieve more and realise our common goal of protecting the environment and reducing thermal emissions,” he added.