International energy policy

International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

Logo of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

On 26 January 2009 in Bonn, 75 states established the International Renewable Energy Agency, (IRENA). Within six months, a further 62 states had signed IRENA's Statute. A total of 158 member states (as at June 2012) have enabled IRENA to quickly emerge as an international organisation.

The rapid growth in membership demonstrates the importance that governments around the world now attach to renewable energies. They have recognised that climate change and the growing scarcity of fossil resources necessitate a fundamental restructuring of energy systems. IRENA therefore aims to close the gap globally between the enormous potential of renewable energies, and the proportion of global energy consumption which they make up, which is still relatively low.

This goal makes IRENA the only international organisation devoted exclusively to renewable energies. Its work focuses on advising industrialised and developing countries alike on creating the right frameworks, developing capacities, and improving both funding and technology and knowledge transfer for renewable energies.

At the second meeting of the Preparatory Commission for IRENA, held on 29 and 30 June 2009 in Sharm El Sheikh, Abu Dhabi was made the headquarters of the organisation. Furthermore, a technology and innovation centre for renewable energies is being established in Bonn, and a liaison office for dealing with international organisations in the energy sector is being set up in Vienna.

The German government's initiative to establish IRENA was actively supported by Spain and Denmark. Within Germany, the process of establishing the new organisation was driven by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), in close cooperation with the Federal Foreign Office.

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