PRESS RELEASE: EcoPeace Unveils “Green Blue Deal” Report to Advance Climate Security in the Middle East
EcoPeace Middle East, with its unique alliance of Jordanian, Palestinian and Israeli environmentalists, today launches a bold report that provides a road map for regional and international policy makers to meet the looming challenges of climate change.
The new report, the center-piece of discussion at EcoPeace’s annual conference held early December, 2020, proposes harnessing the sun and the sea to power region-wide desalinated water and energy security for all. It highlights the need and opportunity to solve Israeli/Palestinian natural water allocations today to achieve water equity. And it proposes climate smart investments and green job development around the Jordan Valley. This sweeping initiative, supported by public awareness and education programs, will engage the public, especially younger generations, to understand the importance of diplomacy in the water and climate debate and as an example of effective conflict resolution and peace building. The report’s recommendations build on the programs and concepts developed and implemented by EcoPeace over the last 26 years.
Regional and international representatives spoke in support of the “Green Blue Deal” at the EcoPeace Annual Conference. From Jordan, Dr. Marwan al Raggad, Executive Director of the Inter-Islamic Network on Water Resources Development and Management (INWRDAM), described the report as “ visible action that will provide mutual gains and leave no one behind.” Israeli and Palestinian officials advocated new cross-border cooperation. Member of Knesset Ms. Miki Haimovitch, Head of Israeli Knesset Environment Committee, expressed hope that “the cross-border environmental issue can be the foundation for shared dialogue and advancement.” And Dr. Shaddad Al Atilli, Advisor, Ranking Palestinian Minister, the Negotiations Affairs Department, PLO, expressed his support, declaring: “I extend my hand, as an official, and I will be your champion of the Palestinian community to start working on having a solution of a shared water environment.”
Current and former officials from the EU and US also praised the new proposal as a reflection of their commitments both to the climate crisis and advancing the Middle East peace process. HE Susanna Terstal, EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process, applauded the work of EcoPeace and acknowledged the “Green Blue Deal” as a valuable proposal. “It is the right time to prioritize the Water Energy Nexus as an entry point for building trust between the parties,” she said. “And we [the EU] have the instruments to be a partner in doing so, for sustainable peace, development and economic growth.” HE Daniel Shapiro, Former US Ambassador to Israel, Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Institute for National Security Studies, said the Green Blue Deal is a great roadmap, noting: “There’s many opportunities to take the ideas of the “Green Blue Deal,” apply them to this principle that the Biden administration comes in with, which is keeping two states alive and viable, [and] shortening the distance between the next negotiations launch and that outcome.”
In his keynote address, HE Mr. Pekka Haavisto, Foreign Minister of Finland, extended an invitation to regional and international stakeholders to further talks in Helsinki: “I think your excellent document, “Green Blue Deal,” needs… continuation and maybe a roundtable concept where regional actors and maybe some international experts could come together. I would be very happy to host such a roundtable.”
HRH Princess Esmeralda of Belgium called the Green Blue Deal an “ambitious, inspiring and creative project” and encouraged stakeholders in the region to “work all together and bring the Middle East Green Blue Deal to fruition for environmental justice, sustainability, security, and peace.”
The primary objective of EcoPeace Middle East is promotion of cooperation to protect the region’s shared environmental heritage. EcoPeace has offices in Amman, Ramallah and Tel-Aviv.
The EcoPeace Annual Conference was made possible thanks to the generous support of the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS – REMENA).
For Green Blue Deal Report, please click here.
For full speeches of high-level speakers please click here.
For more information, or to request an interview, please contact: EcoPeace Israeli Director, Gidon Bromberg: firstname.lastname@example.org
EcoPeace Palestinian Director, Nada Majdalani: email@example.com
EcoPeace Jordanian Director, Yana Abu Taleb: firstname.lastname@example.org