An important week for renewable energy begins in Abu Dhabi on Friday, January 13, with a Pacific Leaders' Meeting organised by Irena, the International Renewable Energy Agency.
The meeting, to be attended by several heads of state, will be followed by Irena's two-day Second Assembly, which runs concurrent with discussions by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's High Level Group on the International Year of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4ALL). Many Irena delegates will continue the renewable energy debate at the following 2012 World Future Energy Summit (January 16-19).
The Irena Assembly, which features interactive ministerial roundtables, plenary sessions and technical meetings, will attract more than 800 of the most influential voices in renewable energy, representing 131 countries and 57 organisations, and including 64 ministers and other high-level officials.
It will be opened by Dr. Sultan Ahmad Al Jaber, President of the First Irena Assembly and Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and Special Envoy for Energy and Climate Change, UAE, and will be attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who will make a special address to the Assembly before officially inaugurating SE4ALL on the following day at the WFES, and holding talks with the members of his High-Level Group.
"I look forward to the debate, negotiations, networking opportunities and exchange of ideas that our Second Assembly brings," said the Agency's Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. "This will be a year in which we realise our full role in stepping-up international efforts to create the enabling environments that will allow renewables to fulfill their potential in the world's energy mix." Highlights of the Irena Assembly will be the two interactive Ministerial Roundtables, one discussing cooperation with the private sector, the other policy issues related to Irena's medium-term strategy. Other activities include the High-Level Group sessions, and technical meetings on the Global Solar and Wind Atlas, and the competitiveness of renewable power generation.
"A year ago our first Assembly allowed us to successfully create Irena's structure, consolidate capacity and set initial objectives. This time we will focus much more on action, including the implementation of our work plan which allow Irena to cement its position at the core of global initiatives to promote renewable energy," added Amin.
Irena and its partners will also host an information and discussion booth at the 2012 WFES where international policy makers, innovators, business decision-makers and investors, will hear more than 150 eminent speakers, and visit 650 exhibiting companies and 20 national pavilions under an underlying theme of Powering Sustainable Innovation.