Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) joined more than 150 countries at the sixth session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly to review the organization’s progress and agree on its 2016-17 work program. The annual meeting, held on January 16-17 in Abu Dhabi, is being attended by 42 ministers.
“The UAE’s leadership has long recognized the importance of investing in new energy technologies to complement its role as a leading hydrocarbon exporter,” said H.E. Dr. Al Jaber. “Renewable energy is now a mainstream energy source that supports our economic and energy diversification goals and will lead to more jobs, more innovation, and more prosperity.”
The start of the IRENA Assembly included updates on long-term strategy and ongoing initiatives to accelerate renewables worldwide. It also highlighted IRENA’s growing role in the future of global energy and climate change mitigation.
“As we look forward to 2016, it is important to acknowledge the tremendous progress that IRENA has made over the past two years,” said H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, in his opening remarks. “IRENA has been instrumental in supporting the widespread adoption of renewable energy and helping to shape the future global energy landscape.”
“With 145 member states and more than 30 countries in the process of joining, IRENA is catalyst for international action on renewable energy,” added H.E. Dr. Al Jaber. “Futhermore, nine new permanent representatives to the organization were appointed.”
H.E. Dr. Al Jaber highlighted IRENA’s recent efforts to meet the world’s growing energy needs, including the launch of the Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA), an initiative to significantly increase geothermal power generation. He also noted The Sustainable Energy Marketplace, a virtual platform that aims to scale up existing global investment and development of renewables, as another key accomplishment.
H.E. Dr. Al Jaber also pointed to the adoption of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris climate agreement as key successes resulting from international collaboration. Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), coinciding with the IRENA General Assembly, provides a platform to further build on these achievements and create the practical policy, technology and investment solutions needed to turn these outcomes into action.
“ADSW reinforces Abu Dhabi’s position as an international hub to advance clean energy innovation,” said H.E. Dr. Al Jaber. “It convenes government officials, business leaders and energy innovators to build durable partnerships and address the world’s most pressing challenges in sustainability.”
In June 2015, the UAE inaugurated the IRENA headquarters in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City, further reinforcing its commitment to the advancement of renewable energy.