We Can’t Rely on Energy of the Past: Abdullah

ABU DHABI - International efforts towards adoption of renewable energy must be mobilised and accelerated, UAE’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan said at the third meeting of the Preparatory Commission of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on Sunday.

By Staff Report

Published: Tue 19 Jan 2010, 1:15 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:32 PM

The first meeting to be held in Abu Dhabi since the country was named the host of the agency, also involved adopting a budget of $13.7million for 2010.

Shaikh Abdullah said, in a statement on Wam, hosting the seat was a “rich experiment” that required worldwide cooperation.

“As a major oil producer and host of IRENA seat in Abu Dhabi, the UAE is adding its voice to that of other countries to send out a message that we all believe in it and which says ‘We can’t rely on the energy of the past to make prosperity in the future’,” Al Nahyan said.

“As we possess the ideal components of this approach, we are in a desperate need for joint action to accelerate the pace of founding IRENA’s headquarters, and liaison and support offices in other countries.”

Participants also discussed the potential of the agency to help countries adopt renewable energy projects by providing capacity building and training, using the agency’s International Centre for Excellence in renewable energy as a platform to exchange and develop knowledge in this field.

“The UAE is committed to providing full support to IRENA to enable it to deliver its mission of securing support of what is related to renewable energy applications, assist countries to benefit from sustainable development and transfer and share expertise in technology and knowledge,” Al Nahyan said.

Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, said in a drive to encourage broad support, the UAE, as Chair of the Headquarters Agreement Working Group, had tried to incorporate the different observations of each member state in a draft agreement submitted on Sunday.

“The UAE remains committed to using its unique geographic, political, and economic position to not only encourage the dynamic involvement of the developing world in the quest for renewable energy, but also to effectively contribute to the ongoing North-South dialogue on a wide range of developmental issues,” Gargash said.

The session involved the discussion of 25 items, including the adoption of the Agency’s budget in the current year, amounting to $13.7 million. The meeting also debated the investment mechanism of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development’s pledge of $50million per year for seven years to invest in renewable energy projects.

Helen Pelosse, Director-General of IRENA, presented a report on steps IRENA has already taken — which include gaining a total of 139 signatories only nine days shy of the agency’s first anniversary.

In steps towards the agency’s establishment in Abu Dhabi, she said that 50 per cent of IRENA’s employees will be women to accomplish gender equality. Pelosse said the agency had been well supported by the Abu Dhabi Future Company ‘Masdar’ — where the agency’s office will later be established.


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