IRENA to map out path to sustainable energy future at 4th meeting in Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI: Delegates from more than 70 countries will convene in Abu Dhabi on 12-13 November to chart the future of international renewable energy policy, at the fourth meeting of IRENA’s Council, which is chaired by the United Arab Emirates.

The gathering marks IRENA’s emergence as the pre-eminent global hub for renewable energy. With 160 countries currently engaged as members or applicants, the Agency’s membership continues to grow.

“Last year, IRENA set out to become the global voice for renewable energy. Today that vision is becoming a reality,” said Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of IRENA. “IRENA is positioned to become a truly global hub, where policy-makers work to fulfil the potential of a world powered by renewables.” “At only two years old, IRENA is already reporting tangible impacts on policy evolution and access to finance and technological data. The outcomes — as well as the proposed interventions for 2013 — presented at this meeting of the Council demonstrate that from its unique base in the UAE, IRENA is a key international catalyst for the world’s diversification into renewable energy,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, the UAE Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change.

Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Director of Energy and Climate Change of the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who is assuming the role of Council chairman for the second time, said: “IRENA’s rapid growth reflects mounting international support for renewable energy, and the UAE is honoured to find itself at the centre of the international renewable energy debate. This commitment is clearly expressed in the UAE’s shifting to a mixed energy economy.” The Council will set the agenda for the Agency’s third Assembly in January 2013, which will mark the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (13-17 January) – a series of high-level events shaping the future of renewable energy worldwide.

On the occasion of the Council, Members will discuss: – the first call for proposals for a new US$350m, seven-year concessional loan facility provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development in cooperation with IRENA for projects in developing countries; – design of the Global Renewable Energy Atlas, a global resource mapping project, to be launched in January 2013; – development guidelines for renewable energy projects; – tariff-based mechanisms to encourage renewable energy deployment in the current economic climate; and – strategies for implementing the Global Renewable Energy Roadmap 2030, which highlights ways to achieve the goals of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL) initiative, including to double the share of renewable energy in the world’s energy mix by 2030.

IRENA is mandated by 158 countries and the European Union to promote the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy and serve as the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange. From its headquarters in Abu Dhabi and its Innovation and Technology Centre in Bonn, Germany, the Agency tracks and provides policy, financing, and technological counsel and analysis globally.

Formally established in 2011, IRENA is the first major international organization to be headquartered in the Middle East.

IRENA’s rapid growth is a testament to the strong international commitment to a sustainable future powered by renewable energy. Fifteen countries have joined the Agency during the current year, with more expected to join in 2013.

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