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IRENA gathering makes history

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) 9th Assembly has this year seen its largest ever number of ministerial level participants registered to attend the event.

“By bringing together policymakers from the whole world, the IRENA Assembly provides a truly unique platform for strengthening international cooperation on energy transformation,” noted the outgoing IRENA Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin.

Taking place from 11-13 January 2019 in Abu Dhabi, policymakers will be joined by high-level representatives from international organisations, private sector, and civil society.

According to IRENA, the Assembly is taking place against a backdrop of falling cost of renewable energy, a growing recognition of its socio-economic benefits and calls for greater action to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

In October, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s report highlighted that the world has just 12 years left to take decisive action on climate mitigation and called for rapid and far-reaching energy transformation based on renewables.

According to IRENA analysis, renewable energy deployment must accelerate by a factor of six to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. Read more: Renewables are the key to a climate-safe world

This year, the Assembly will be presided over by Li Fanrong, Vice President of China’s National Energy Administration.

“Renewable energy presents a tremendous economic and social opportunity to industrialised and developing economies alike” stated Amin.

China’s renewable energy strategy

“It is an honour to be President of IRENA’s ninth Assembly,” said Li Fanrong, adding “China has made renewable energy a clear strategic priority to serve both our economic and environmental goals but also to strengthen China’s contribution to key global objectives. This pursuit has been greatly supported by the international cooperation fostered by IRENA.

Fanrong underlined that the Assembly has come to represent an important opportunity to bring the global community together.

“Our deliberations over the next few days will no doubt offer every country the insight and guidance necessary to stimulate further growth in the deployment of renewable energy, as well as work to meet these pressing global objectives,” he said.

The Assembly will also decide on the selection of a new Director-General.

The full Assembly programme can be found here. Activities throughout the event can be followed on twitter using #IRENA9A and live coverage.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.