Prince El-Hassan urges deep-dive into water-energy-food nexus | Jordan News | Ammon News

Prince El-Hassan urges deep-dive into water-energy-food nexus

[9/21/2020 8:04:33 AM]

AMMONNEWS - His Highness Prince El-Hassan bin Talal, Chairman of the Higher Council for Science and Technology, has called for formulating a realistic proposal that includes the implementation of a feasibility study over the interconnection between water, energy and food in the Arab region.

In a keynote address at a recent regional symposium on the use of nuclear energy to bring about sustainable development, Prince El-Hassan underlined the importance of embarking on a strategic approach that gives traction for socioeconomic development in the Levant and the larger Arab region.

His Highness emphasized the need to develop trans-boundary solutions and plans away from politics, and to define water, energy and environmental priorities, saying the Arab region has human talents capable of putting such solutions into action.

The virtual symposium titled: "The Role of Regional Cooperation in Achieving Sustainable Development Using Nuclear Energy: Integrated Planning for the Water, Energy and Food Nexus in the Arab Region" was organized by the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission and was attended by Her Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of the Royal Scientific Society and other participants.

Prince El-Hassan stressed that the Arab countries are required to start self-planning to meet the local national dimension, indicating that the most prominent challenge facing the Arab region and the world as a whole is climate change.

In this context, he said: "Carbon dioxide emissions must be slashed to limit global warming which, God forbid, will lead to widespread famines and epidemics as a result of the rise in ocean levels and the increase in desertification, to which our Arab region will be more vulnerable compared to others."

His Highness said that the world is gradually replacing its heavy dependence on fossil fuel, and that in this vital location of the world "we must switch to other alternatives, particularly renewable energy represented by solar energy."

In this regard, Prince El-Hassan referred to "Desertec", a mega project which was aimed at generating electricity from solar power in the Sahara Desert and transmit it from north African Arab nations to the Arab countries in the east.

Speaking on nuclear energy, His Highness said: "we must focus on how to handle spent fuel and protect the environment if the region decides to pursue nuclear energy for power production", calling on the participants to come up with creative solutions after a proper diagnosis of the challenges and problems facing the Arab region in the water, energy and food nexus.

Prince El-Hassan called for forging partnerships between the countries of the Arab region and switch the focus from the national dimension to the regional dimension to address climate change, saying: "there is no country in the region capable of facing this challenge on its own, especially if we add the environmental dimension to the water, energy and food nexus."

Furthermore, His Highness underscored the importance of maximizing the contribution of international bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency in the Arab region and benefiting from the agency's success in the East Asia and Pacific region.

Chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission, Khaled Toukan, highlighted the key role of nuclear energy in the water-energy-food nexus, noting that the region's demand for both energy and water is rising due to economic and population growth, and consumption patterns.

He said nuclear power reactors can be considered as a long-term alternative that can be used for power generation and water desalination, and a guarantee against future fluctuations in oil and natural gas prices.

Toukan further explained that nuclear power is an important component in any low-carbon energy strategy, adding that nuclear applications can give a major push to smart agriculture.

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