Government officials from more than 150 countries and representatives from 140 international organisations gathered in Abu Dhabi tomorrow for the opening of the sixth Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). As the first intergovernmental meeting after the UN Climate Conference (COP21) in Paris, the Assembly will bring together energy leaders to set the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the ongoing global energy transition.
“The Paris Agreement set a long-term vision for the deep reduction of global emissions and the need to decarbonise the energy sector,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “The IRENA Assembly must now take the next steps and establish a blueprint for action to meet our climate goals and set the world on a path to a sustainable energy future.”
“Sustainable development depends on the richness of renewable energy resources,” said Mohamed Hamed Shaker El-Markaby, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy for Egypt and President of the IRENA sixth Assembly. “I am confident in IRENA’s ability to perform its mission in mobilizing the entire world’s efforts to build more sustainable economies, which rely mainly on renewable sources.”
Taking place 16-17 January at the St. Regis Hotel in Abu Dhabi, the sixth Assembly focused 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 discussed 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 energy transition makes social, economic and environmental sense and we have the needed renewable technology to provide cost-effective, reliable energy today,” said Mr. Amin. “We also now have a strong political signal and global commitment thanks to the Paris Agreement. Now, we must join hands to implement the policies and programmes that can drive investment, build capacity and strengthen international cooperation to further support the energy transition. That is what the Assembly will help achieve.”
The Assembly marks the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), a global gathering of more than 30,000 energy leaders, experts and enthusiasts. During the week, IRENA will also release the Renewable Energy Market Analysis: The GCC Region, which provides detailed analysis of the energy landscape in the GCC region, and the benefits possible through the increased adoption of renewables.