Israel can help the Middle East in the battle against climate change

The MENA region is one of the world’s most vulnerable to climate change, and will need to stand together to collaborate and overcome the challenge

On Sunday, all eyes will be on Sharm El Sheikh for COP27, where government officials and leading climate experts will gather to build on previous successes and discuss new ambitions to tackle climate change.

Today, forethinking multilateral organisations and world leaders recognise that climate change cannot be addressed without revolutionary technological innovation. An area that Israel has much to offer to the world. Climate knows no geographical boundaries nor politics and to effectively tackle climate change, we need to work collaboratively.

Israel is a country well-versed in developing innovative solutions to tackle global challenges. Faced with an arid climate and a shortage of natural resources, Israel became a tech powerhouse out of necessity, long before climate tech was coined.

From the creation of solar receptors that heat 90 percent of the water in people’s homes, to the invention of water-saving drip irrigation, to the latest in alternative meat products, Israeli companies are pioneers in developing market-disrupting products and services that help drive a more sustainable lifestyle.

In the first half of 2022, global investments in climate tech reached a record $26.8 billion in venture funding. Of that, Israeli climate tech companies raised $1.13 billion in venture capital across 50 deals, according to Start-Up Nation Finder data, more than doubling the funds raised in the first half of 2021. Since 2020, Israeli climate tech companies have raised $3.87 billion, growing in the last 24 months by 250 percent, which is 2.5 times faster than the global investment rate.

Israel is home to more than 700 companies that offer climate tech solutions, which either help reduce greenhouse gas emissions or adapt to climate-changing environments. Supported by a growing ecosystem of investors, accelerators, and academic institutions dedicated to facing climate challenges – Israel offers an opportunity for greater impact and collaboration within the broader MENA region.

Just as climate knows no geographical boundaries nor politics, to effectively combat climate change, regional countries need to work collaboratively to develop and scale the innovation the world desperately needs.

The Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region is among the most vulnerable to climate change. There is unprecedented support to tackle the climate crisis yet delivering on these agreements requires more regional cooperation to make a greater impact. Israeli solutions in the fields of clean energy, water, agriculture, food, and more could be vital in addressing some key target areas to meet current and future needs.

The MENA region plays a key role in tackling climate issues, not only because it is the powerhouse behind the supply of fossil fuel energy, but because its size will serve a larger impact globally with a move to a clean energy economy. The UAE and Saudi Arabia have already committed to decarbonisation plans to facilitate the use of renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, but other countries in the region need greater support. This is where regional collaboration can set a new pace for an action-oriented initiative.

We will be taking the first steps at COP27 to make a greater difference through collaboration, where we will announce the launch of our first MENA Alliance for Climate Innovation. The alliance will bring together leading regional organisations to drive collaborative action to combat climate change through innovative technologies while getting the best that each country in the area has to offer. Thus far, we have partnered with leading international organisations and institutions from Bahrain, Morocco, and the UAE.

We hope that more countries in the region will join us too. With COP28 on the horizon, to be hosted in Abu Dhabi, the immediate demand is about seeing real change. Working groups will include corporations, investors, companies, and academic institutions to foster relationships with a growing ecosystem of Israeli climate tech companies developing world-class agrifood, water, and energy solutions.

This network will connect investment and business opportunities within the sector and encourage the implementation of advanced climate technologies in regional and large-scale national projects, effectively creating a more significant global impact.

This article was originally published in ArabianBusiness.

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