Second IRENA Assembly ends on auspicious note

15 January 2012| Press Release

The successful conclusion of the Second Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) today signals a new era for the Agency and recognition of the strategic importance of its mandate – to increase the worldwide adoption and deployment of renewable energy.

 “I believe the Second Assembly shows that IRENA is now emerging onto the world stage as an operational intergovernmental organisation ready to generate change,” said IRENA Director General Adnan Z. Amin.

In a closing address UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told nearly 1,000 delegates from 137 countries, the European Union and 57 organisations, that the success of the Assembly on the eve of the launch of the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) marked an auspicious start to this important initiative.

“Renewable energy is a central element in meeting the Millennium Development Goals related to poverty alleviation, environmental sustainable development and health,” he added. “Sustainability cannot be tackled by isolated action. IRENA has provided much-needed political impetus and direction to our efforts.”

The Secretary-General said he welcomed the participation of IRENA’s Director General on his High-level Group for SE4All and said that IRENA would play a key role in meeting the initiative’s objective of doubling the share of renewables in the world’s energy mix by 2030.

“Meeting the needs of developing countries requires dramatic growth in the global energy sector,” said Mr. Amin. “Renewable energy will play an essential role in improving the access of millions to energy, while ensuring energy security and mitigating the risk of climate change by reducing emissions.”

The Assembly approved IRENA’s 2012 Work Programme and Budget. “The countries’ decision to significantly increase the IRENA core budget, despite current global financial constraints, is a sign of confidence in IRENA and its activities,” said Mr. Amin. 

An important outcome of the two-day Assembly (January 14-15) was the establishment of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development procedure, which has positive implications for developing countries. Other highlights of the two-day Assembly were the interactive Ministerial Roundtables, one of which discussed cooperation with the private sector, while the second focused on policy issues related to IRENA’s medium-term strategy. Activities also included technical meetings of the Global Solar and Wind Atlas, and on the competitiveness of renewable power generation. The main Assembly events were preceded by a special IRENA Pacific Leaders Meeting and ran alongside meetings of the UN Secretary-General’s High-level Group for SE4All.

In his final address to the Assembly Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, President of the First IRENA Assembly, UAE Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, said: “The UAE recognises, like everyone here, the urgency of the widespread adoption of renewable energy technologies – with the aim of mitigating climate change, ensuring energy security and providing universal energy access. The success of IRENA is our collective success.”

He emphasised: “If 2011 was about ensuring that IRENA is on the right track, then 2012 will be about proving that we are able – together – to seize this unique and opportune moment to take further concrete action. 2012 will be about empowering IRENA and its leadership!”

Download here Arabic version of this press release.

Note to editors:

IRENA — the International Renewable Energy Agency, founded in 2009, held its first Assembly in Abu Dhabi in April 2011, where the Agency is headquartered. With the participation of 155 States, 86 ratifying Members, and the European Union, IRENA has become a nexus of international efforts to accelerate the worldwide deployment of renewable energy technologies.

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