Minister reviews regional projects, meets with stakeholders at COP26

3. Sahara forest project
Minister of Environment Muawieh Radaideh, at the Sahara Forest Project’s pavilion opening at COP26 in Glasgow, the UK, on Thursday. (Photo: Handout from the Sahara Forest Project)
AMMAN — The minister of Environment, Muawieh Radaideh on Monday took part in multiple meetings and workshops before and during a conference at COP26 in Glasgow, the UK, highlighting Jordan’s achievements on climate change.اضافة اعلان

During the second week of the COP26, Jordan pledged to join global efforts, led by the US and the EU, to reduce greenhouse gas methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra. 

This is part of a global effort to prevent global temperatures from rising 2°C by 2050, which was agreed to by countries that signed onto the Paris Climate Agreement.

Radaideh spoke about a number of regional initiatives currently underway, including a project being hosted by Jordan and a project being organized by Cyprus. The minister pointed out that the climate and environmental challenges facing the Mediterranean region include desertification and water scarcity, which requires countries to unite to address them.

Radaideh also discussed the regional initiative launched by Cyprus with the participation of more than 80 countries, calling on development banks and international institutions to support the implementation of the initiative.

Radaideh also met with representatives of the Sahara Forest Project, which aims at providing fresh water, food, and renewable energy in hot and arid regions, and the founder of a non-profit called Bellona Foundation, which is overseeing the Sahara project’s implementation in the Aqaba Special Economic Zone.

Radaideh previously attended the grand opening of the “Accelerate and Scale” pavilion on Thursday. The opening was attended by Norwegian prime minister, Jonas Gahr Store, and the climate minister, Espen Barth Eide.

It was also announced at the opening ceremony that the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs had decided to continue funding the project in Jordan with an amount of $493,695.

The media spokesman for the Ministry of Environment, Ahmed Obeidat, told Jordan News over the phone: “The minister of Environment has emphasized the importance of this project, which provides an opportunity for the Kingdom to become a leader in the green energy sector through the creation and export of green hydrogen, given the great potential available in terms of solar and wind energy that the project requires.”

Regarding the project, general manager, Kjetil Stake stated in a press release that the “Sahara Forest Project is using what the world has enough of: saltwater, sun, CO2 and deserts, to produce what the world needs more of: food, water, and clean energy.”

He added: “The majority of the vegetables eaten in Norway are produced in countries other than Norway, and the production of imported produce affects us directly through gas emissions, water scarcity, and desertification. It is therefore important to prove that climate solutions work for sustainable agriculture in dry areas.”

The additional funding will allow Sahara Forest Project to further develop the training program for Jordanian female engineers, together with Al-Hussein Technical University. 

During its pilot phase, 30 female engineers have participated in the training, which aims at developing the skills needed for working in innovative and sustainable agri-tech and food production in response to Jordan’s water, energy, and climate action priorities.

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