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Thought Leaders Talk Renewable Energy Solutions, Innovation and Action at Fourth Annual IRENA Financial Times Event

Over 500 leaders from government, business and civil society gathered yesterday at the headquarters of IRENA to discuss scaling up renewable energy as the cornerstone of global climate change mitigation. For the fourth consecutive year, the Financial Times-IRENA Question Time Debate provided a unique opportunity to discuss the international renewable energy agenda following the conclusion of IRENA’s annual Assembly.

Some notable quotes from the event:

“If we are going to decarbonise to remain below 2 centigrade, it requires the transformation of economies, energy systems, the way we do business and even our lifestyles.”Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA Director-General

Newsroom_FT2From left to right: Pilita Clark, Environmental Correspondent, Financial Times; Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC; Henry Puna, Prime Minister, Cook Islands; Miguel Arias Cañete, European Union Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy

“Policy makers must develop stable, practical regulations. If the framework is not there, investment will not follow.” – Miguel Arias Cañete, European Union Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy

“We have a goal of 100% renewables by 2020 and we’re on course to achieve that. We will be at 80% by next year.” – Henry Puna, Prime Minister, Cook Islands

“One of the obstacles is market distortion – there are certain oil subsidies and other regulatory policies from legacies that incentivise generation models.”- Kyung-Ah Park, Head of Environmental Markets Group, Goldman Sachs, on obstacles to renewable energy deployment

“This is not for the light of heart, it’s a battle, but we are going to win. We have drawn the boundary around what we are going to emit. By the year 2050, we will have a global economy that is down to net zero.” Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC

“We can no longer burn our way into global prosperity. We all know that renewable energy is limitless and will last forever, offers us security and peace of mind. We should have everyone on board for shared prosperity. Events like this are vital to spread the word.” – Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

Newsroom_FT3Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General

The event took place immediately following the conclusion of the sixth IRENA Assembly, which brought together more than 1,000 energy leaders from 150 countries to set the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the ongoing global energy transition.

Newsroom_FT6Panellist Kyung-Ah Park, Head of Environmental Markets Group, Goldman Sachs

Newsroom_FT5Panellist Miguel Arias Cañete, European Union Commissioner for Climate Action & Energy, looking at the IRENA history timeline at IRENA headquarters

More on the event: https://live.ft.com/Events/2016/FT-IRENA-Question-Time-Debate-2016

Event photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/irenaimages/albums/72157661038902124

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