Energy agency makes UAE permanent home
Abu Dhabi, April 5, 2011
The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) has officially named the UAE as its permanent headquarters, thus becoming the first international organisation to be based in an Arab country.
The announcement was made at the Irena's first session in Abu Dhabi on Monday which drew 800 delegates from 150 nations besides more than 90 ministers.
The intergovernmental organisation dedicated to promoting the adoption of renewable energy worldwide, Irena also selected Adnan Amin, the former acting interim director general as the new director general. He will hold this position for the next 4 years.
Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE special envoy for Energy and Climate Change, CEO of Masdar, and session president, said: 'The UAE is honored to be Irena' permanent home and will be a strong advocate for collaboration and deployment of renewable energy.'
'As an international centre for renewable energy innovation, our nation will provide Irena with a solid foundation for open, multi-lateral dialogue and real action. We are pleased with the election of Amin today and congratulate him on his permanent role,' he added.
The assembly officially marks end of Irena’s foundational stage, which has built a strong institutional framework since its 2009 inception to facilitate multilateral collaboration.
Irena represents developed and developing nations dedicated to expanding renewable energy both domestically and abroad. To date, 148 countries, and the European Union have signed the statute of the agency.
Members from 64 countries and the EU which ratified the statute attended the assembly. These include 48 form African countries, 38 (European), 35 (Asian), 17 (American) and 10 from Australia/Oceania member states.
On his new role, Amin said, “The UAE provides an environment that promotes the future growth of renewable energy and is a natural fit to be the long-term home to Irena.”
According to Dr Al Jaber, the UAE has placed renewable energy and climate change high on its agenda.
The UAE’s Department of Energy & Climate Change was established within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last March as a direct result of the UAE's winning bid to become Irena’s home, and acts as the focal point for the UAE's engagement with Irena, he stated.
The nation’s strong commitment was demonstrated through several actions, including the inception of the Masdar initiative, the Abu Dhabi green building code (Estidama), the World Future Energy Summit and the Zayed Future Energy Prize.
“As a conduit for knowledge sharing and collective decision-making, UAE is confident that Irena will accelerate the pace at which renewable energy is deployed and integrated around the globe,” Dr Al Jaber added.-TradeArabia News Service