Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 10 April 2020

International Renewable Energy Agency holds 10th assembly in Abu Dhabi

The Irena event comes at the start of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2020

A solar farm on the outskirts of Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Karim Sahib / AFP
A solar farm on the outskirts of Masdar City, Abu Dhabi. Karim Sahib / AFP

The International Renewable Energy Agency, Irena, will welcome 1,500 delegates to its annual assembly in Abu Dhabi on Saturday and Sunday, with the UAE taking a leading role in discussions on the global energy transition.

Irena, which is headquartered in the UAE capital, is marking a decade of gatherings this year, and is looking ahead to the next 10 years.

“As the lead intergovernmental agency for the energy transformation, Irena and its assembly, will endeavour to set in motion a decade of rapid energy sector development to ensure that renewables support a new age of universal energy access, sustainable economic growth and climate action,” said Francesco La Camera, Irena’s Director General.

“There is no question we are moving in the right direction but a significant increase in the speed of transformation is critical to global development.

“The 10th assembly will engage women and youth, address low-carbon investment needs, discuss climate and energy policy and explore emerging technology options, to promote actionable outcomes that advance energy transformation.”

The UAE delegation to the Assembly will be led by Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, and will include Dr Nawal Al Hosany, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to Irena, and other high-profile officials.

An array of sessions, ministerial roundtables and panels will cover the latest and emerging developments across the technology, policy-making, and green finance sectors to advance the global dialogue on how to move towards a cleaner energy mix, tackle climate change and cut carbon emissions.

The discussions held over the two days of the assembly will focus on empowering youth and driving gender equality in the renewable energy sector while shaping the Irena agenda and its priorities for the next year.

Dr Al Zeyoudi said this week: "In the past decade, Irena has played an instrumental role in the decarbonisation efforts of its members through expediting their transition to renewables. As host and key supporter of the Agency, the UAE is proud of Irena’s achievements."

Ahead of the anniversary assembly this year, the UAE called on Irena representatives, delegates and the general public to share their success stories, motivations and dreams of a future powered by clean, renewable energy sources in the #Act4Impact digital campaign, which received a widespread response.

Dr Al Hosany said: "We have come a long way in increasing global renewable energy capacity, but now is not the time to rest on our laurels. We must forge ahead with a renewables shift and collectively act for impact."

The two days of the assembly will officially kick-start this year's Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), where heads of state, ministers, high-level delegates and experts meet to accelerate the world’s sustainability efforts.

From January 11 to 18, ADSW will include the Atlantic Council Global Energy Forum, the Future Sustainability Summit, the WFES Exhibition and Forums, Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum, and the Zayed Sustainability Prize awards ceremony.

Updated: January 10, 2020 01:45 PM

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