The UAE delegation participated in the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) thirteenth meeting of the council held last week in Abu Dhabi. The UAE delegation was led by Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
"In the past few years, renewable energy has been witnessing a remarkable growth due to the spread of renewable energy solutions, as well as the availability of necessary technologies and decline in their prices. This growth is also attributed to intensifying the efforts of international cooperation through platforms and initiatives under the umbrella of the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA", said Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi.
"In the UAE, renewable energy is a principle pillar in our National Vision 2021 and Green Growth Strategy, and we have recently witnessed the launch of the world's largest independent solar power station in the capital Abu Dhabi, bolstering the country's leading position as a global hub for the latest economic, environmental and technological practices."
He affirmed that the UAE will continue to support other countries with renewable energy aid that is now approaching US$1 billion. In January of this year, we have launched the $50 Million UAE-Caribbean Renewable Energy Fund, one of the largest ever for the region’s renewable sector".
The council, in which 110 countries and the European Union participated, met to discuss IRENA’s progress in the implementation of its work programme and the preliminary framework for the work programme and budget 2018-2019 and medium-term strategy 2018-2022. In addition, countries engaged in programmatic discussions on investment needs for low-carbon energy system, IRENA’s annual review 2017 of its flagship report on "Renewable Energy and Jobs", and adapting electricity market design to high shares of variable renewable energy.
"IRENA has arrived at another vital milestone, having achieved so much through its 2016/2017 work programme, and preparing to embark with new roles and activities in the next biennium" said Ali AlShafar, the UAE Permanent Representative to IRENA. "The Agency has been recognized as the global voice of renewables and a driving force in the global energy transition. IRENA has been very active in many international forums, acting as an objective source of renewable energy information."
Meanwhile, the Permanent Mission of the UAE to IRENA held a workshop on the "Role of Renewables in the Water, Energy and Food nexus" in collaboration with IRENA for the Asia cooperation Dialogue (ACD) countries on the sidelines of the council on 22nd May 2017.
The UAE hosted the workshop in its capacity as the chair of the ACD for 2017, and as a co-prime mover of the "Interrelation of Food, Energy and Water Security" ACD cooperation pillar. It is also based on the UAE’s proposed activity in the ACD Energy Action Plan adopted at the 15th ACD Ministerial Meeting hosted in Abu Dhabi in January 2017, under the action area of "Promoting information exchange and sharing of best practices on energy policies, plans and programs among the ACD Member States".
IRENA’s Council is accountable to the Assembly and is composed of 21 Members who are elected on a rotating basis to ensure the effective participation of both developing and developed countries, the fair and equitable geographical distribution and the effectiveness of the Council’s work. The Council, among other responsibilities, facilitates consultations and cooperation among Members and considers the draft work programme, draft budget and annual report.