Cross-border ties urged to mitigate climate crisis

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Karine Elharrar. — Supplied photo
Karine Elharrar. — Supplied photo

Oil and gas companies are now facing huge pressure from investors and policymakers to ensure they pivot from traditional businesses to more sustainable ones.


Issac John

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Published: Tue 23 Nov 2021, 11:46 PM

Last updated: Tue 23 Nov 2021, 11:48 PM

Israel’s minister of energy said on Tuesday that a three-party energy partnership deal his country has with the UAE and Jordan offers a model for cross-border cooperation to mitigate the climate crisis.

Minister of Energy Karine Elharrar, addressing an audience at the fourth edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit, said countries and organisations must develop cross-border partnerships to ensure the global energy sector is meeting its responsibilities to mitigate climate change.

Elharrar highlighted a deal signed this week in which a solar plant in Jordan will generate power for Israel, while a desalination plant in Israel will provide Jordan with water, as part of the same three-party partnership with the UAE.

“Cross-border cooperation of this kind for a common international struggle in tackling climate change is a precise example of a twin transition in which innovation and sustainability meet and create holistic solutions to tackling the climate crisis that threatens countries and communities. This is our planet, our future, and it’s our mission to save it,” she said in a keynote ahead of a panel entitled ‘The Twin Transition: Where innovation, technology and sustainability meet.’

Musabbeh Al Kaabi, CEO of UAE Investments at Mubadala, noted that while the oil and gas sector globally has missed multiple chances since the 1980s to build a sustainable industry, it now must embrace new modes of operations.

“Going forward, energy companies around the world have a collective responsibility to become part of a future energy ecosystem. Oil and gas companies are now facing huge pressure from investors and policymakers to ensure they pivot from traditional businesses to more sustainable ones. The winners will be the nimble companies that can accelerate towards that pivot quickest,” said Al Kaabi.

In a separate session on Tuesday at GMIS, Abdulla Shahid, President of the United Nations General Assembly, highlighted the stark discrepancies in technological capacity between the global north and south, which has exacerbated the challenges faced by developing nations in their attempts to recover from the pandemic.

In what he described as his “presidency of hope”, the UNGA president said, “I will do my utmost to ensure that we not only recover better and sustainably, but we do so equitably with no one left behind.

“Covid-19 caused massive disruption in manufacturing and supply chains,” His Excellency continued, “but this was on the horizon before Covid-19 and was mainly driven by the fourth industrial revolution, climate change, and the reconfiguration of globalisation.

“The good news is 4IR technologies are playing a major role when it comes to cutting emissions, water and material consumption and the optimisation of waste management.

“I call upon countries to invest in climate-friendly technologies that will spur recovery efforts by respecting our planet’s health and share these technologies with developing countries,” he said.

In the panel discussion that followed, the themes of equitable development and the role of technology were picked up by Dr. Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, Prime Minister of Namibia. She highlighted the issue of delivering government services in a vast country of just 2.5 million people and how technology can provide both a solution and a challenge.


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