x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

The United Arab Emirates has formally ratified the agreement granting permanent headquarters status to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The UAE has formally ratified the agreement granting permanent headquarters status to the International Renewable Energy Agency.

The ratification is effective immediately and marks the confirmation of Abu Dhabi as home to the first global clean-energy body. It also gives the agency all the legal protections necessary for it to function as an international organisation.

The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) can now accept applications for the accreditation of permanent representatives from its member countries and permanent missions of member states in the capital. Irena’s membership spans almost 120 countries and another 40 are in the process of joining.

The ratification is “a major step forward for the agency and proves, yet again, the UAE’s firm commitment to renewable energy”, said Adnan Amin, Irena’s director general. “It is another indicator of Abu Dhabi’s emergence as a key actor in global efforts to ensure a sustainable-energy future.”

Formally established in 2011 after a two-year preparatory phase, Irena was the first major international body to be set up in decades and the first global intergovernmental organisation based in the Middle East.

The establishment of permanent missions in Abu Dhabi will promote year-round collaboration between member states and the Irena secretariat on projects related to clean-energy policy and technology development.

“The Irena missions agreement is unprecedented in the region and underscores the UAE Government’s commitment to a sound business and political environment for clean energy,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and chief executive of Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable-energy company.

vtodorova@thenational.ae