x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE chosen as home for Irena HQ

Abu Dhabi has been formally designated as the permanent home of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

Abu Dhabi was yesterday formally designated as the permanent home of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena).

An agreement was signed by Adnan Amin, Irena's director general, and Dr Anwar Gargash, the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, at a ceremony in the capital.

This represents the first time an international organisation with global membership will have its permanent headquarters in the Middle East.

"Today's agreement is historic," Mr Amin said. "It formalises the permanent headquarters of Irena and its relationship with the UAE."

He added that the deal provides a firm basis for the agency's mission to support rapid deployment of renewable energy as a central element of efforts towards a sustainable future.

"It will also improve standards of living and strengthen global economies," Mr Amin said.

Dr Gargash called the agreement an "important milestone".

"In much the same way that Switzerland is associated with international diplomacy, the UAE is poised to be internationally recognised as synonymous with renewable energy," he said.

Irena was founded in 2009 and the UAE became a member that year. The agency, which has 95 member states, held its first assembly in April last year in Abu Dhabi. Other contenders to host the agency had included Bonn, Copenhagen and Vienna.

cmalek@thenational.ae