Government leaders from 150 countries and representatives from more than 110 international organisations gathered in Abu Dhabi today for the opening of the fifth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The Assembly, the Agency’s ultimate decision-making authority, brings together the international community to speed the global renewable energy expansion and address global challenges including climate change, energy access and energy security.
“The story of renewables is rapidly evolving and as the importance of renewable energy grows, so does the relevance of the Agency’s work,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin at today’s opening ceremony in Abu Dhabi. “The Assembly is an annual pinnacle for the Agency and its future work.”
“I strongly hope that IRENA will play a central role in leading the world to leverage the full potential of renewable energy and thus help the world balance economic growth and the mitigation of climate change,” said H.E. Yoichi Miyazawa, Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and Co-President of the Assembly. “The IRENA Assembly offers an unmatched international platform to discuss the challenges and solutions of global adoption of renewable energy.”
“We’re determined to take a leading role in the field of renewable energy, while enhancing cooperative relations with IRENA,” added H.E. Yasuhide Nakayama, State Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan and the other Co-President of the Assembly.
The Assembly will discuss IRENA’s strategic and programmatic direction in the context of its longer-term vision to promote the uptake of renewable energy, and examine the issues countries face in transitioning to a sustainable energy future.
Highlights of this year’s Assembly include: the launch of multiple IRENA reports including Renewable Power Generation Costs 2014 and Renewable Energy in the Water, Energy & Food Nexus; the announcement of five renewable energy projects in developing countries receiving loans under the second round of the IRENA/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development Project Facility; the launch of REsource, a search engine on all things renewable energy; an invitation-only special panel event with the Financial Times titled “Innovation, Technology, Business and the Future of Renewable Energy”.
Special guest speakers this year include Kandeh Yumkella, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Chief Executive of the Sustainable Energy for All initiative; Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency; Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; Christian Bach, Executive Secretary for the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe; Shamshad Akhtar, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Europe; Fernando Ferreira, Executive Secretary of the Latin America Energy Organisation.
IRENA fifth Assembly documents: www.irena.org/Assembly/5thAssembly.aspx