This report seeks to inform Israeli, Jordanian and Palestinian policy makers, and the understanding of international stakeholders, as they work to meet climate-related challenges in the Middle East. The authors’ assessment is that a deal that gives emphasis to the importance of water issues in the region is a feasible and effective policy approach to an urgent challenge, and one that can serve to address conflict drivers, advance a two state solution and promote trust-building and cooperation in a conflict-mired region.
The recommendations in this paper build on learning from several programs and concepts developed and implemented by our organization, EcoPeace over these last 26 years. In the deeply complex conflict environment in which we work and live, and at a time of climate crisis, our shared consideration is that these recommendations represent solutions to urgent problems that are also “low hanging fruit,” - practical and solveable issues in the Arab-Israeli conflict context.
The “Green Blue Deal” proposes harnessing the sun and the sea to create region wide desalinated water and energy security for all; highlights the need and opportunity to solve Israeli / Palestinian natural water allocations today to achieve water equity; proposes climate smart investments and green job development around the Jordan Valley; and recommends public awareness and education programs that can engage the stakeholder publics, especially the younger generations, to understand the importance of diplomacy in the water and climate fields as an effective tool for conflict resolution and peace building.
This report does not seek to propose a holistic policy program for the Middle East covering all issues related to climate mitigation and adaptation. On the contrary, the purpose of this report is to highlight regionally focused low hanging fruit; opportunities that can serve as entry points for policymakers seeking to maximize fulfilment of their own countries’ self-interests, spurring momentum toward governments creating their own holistic “green blue” plans and providing opportunities for mutual gain and dialogue on region wide integrated programs.
[This descrition was adapted from the report's introduction.]