Government officials from more than 150 countries and representatives from 140 international organisations are gathering in Abu Dhabi for the opening of the sixth Assembly of IRENA. The Assembly brings together energy leaders to set the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the ongoing global energy transition. As the first intergovernmental meeting after the UN Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris, many speakers referred to the landmark agreement.
“Fresh in our memory is a touching moment – the adoption of the Paris Agreement. This new year is a critical year to build on the achievements made in 2015 and to take action to fulfil these goals.” – Miki Yamada, Parliamentary Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan
The Assembly discusses IRENA’s strategic and programmatic direction to help countries accelerate deployment of renewable energy, and in doing so, meet climate goals, boost the economy, and increase energy access and security.
The newly elected President of the sixth Assembly Mohamed Hamed Shaker El-Markaby, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy for Egypt, outlined Egypt’s commitment to the deployment of renewable energy through tariffs and a recently adopted law that deregulates the electricity market. He said that by the year 2030, Egypt’s goal is to have renewable energy contributing to 50 per cent of power generation.
Sierra Leone also expressed its commitment to renewable energy.
“We have to have broad stakeholders’ participation in renewable energy. In that way, we are sure that we don’t have only a technological revolution, but also a broad social movement.” – Rosaline J. Smith, Member of Parliament, Sierra Leone
The sixth Assembly focuses on the critical role of renewable energy in combatting climate change and meeting global sustainable development goals. IRENA analysis shows that scaling up deployment to achieve a 36 per cent share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030 can provide roughly half of the emissions reductions needed to limit temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius, while energy efficiency can provide the rest. But to meet this goal, the deployment of renewable energy must rapidly accelerate. The Assembly continues until 17 January at the St. Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi.