IRENA Council meets as agency renews call for recovery built around energy transformation

ABU DHABI, Representatives from across the world will participate in the 19th and 20th Council of the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA, this week, amid a backdrop of renewed calls from the Agency to build the post-COVID economic recovery around energy transformation.

Burkina Faso Energy Minister, Bachir Ismael Ouedraogo, will serve as Chair for the two-day governing body meetings.

The back-to-back meetings of the Council will take place virtually due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and will see more than 340 high-level participants from 97 countries and the European Union engage in discussions about the growing importance of policies and investments that support an accelerated move towards a low-carbon energy system. IRENA’s findings suggest doing so would add more than five million energy transition jobs globally in the next three years.

“We meet at unprecedented times,” said IRENA Director-General, Francesco La Camera. “With many economies going back into lockdown measures to address COVID-19, we must all be aware of the opportunity for growth and stability presented by a renewables-based energy transformation – a point that will be central to discussions among members this week.

IRENA’s “Post-COVID recovery: An agenda for resilience, development and equality”, launched earlier this year, shows that energy transition can represent a far-sighted investment when incorporated into stimulus and recovery plans. An investment package focused on the energy transition can help to overcome the economic slump and create much-needed jobs.

Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said, “The coronavirus outbreak has highlighted the vital importance of energy as the key to staying connected to power, and healthcare facilities and ensure an uninterrupted food and water production and supply. Therefore, it is more crucial than ever that we join forces in advancing a green and sustainable recovery, building resilience, and driving a global clean energy transition to provide fair energy access for all.”

“Burkina Faso’s progress in recent years to address energy access and encourage increased economic activity through electrification, has been remarkable,” said Ouedraogo. “We have doubled the number of people with access to energy in the last five years while reducing electricity costs and reducing state subsidies thanks to renewable energy.

Before this year’s meetings, IRENA received comments from members regarding the Agency’s programmatic activities. Discussions, that took place on 19th and 21st October, explored how IRENA can most effectively provide its members with project facilitation support, research, modelling, analytical work and policy advice.

Leading up to the Council meeting, IRENA also held a series of Collaborative Framework meetings, designed to foster dialogue and coordinated action between Members on key issues such as the development of hydropower, strategies to support high shares of renewables, the future of the renewable hydrogen economy, ocean and offshore renewables and the geopolitics of energy transformation.

During the Council meetings, IRENA members will also discuss the Agency’s future work as part of IRENA’s Work Programme and Budget.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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