The European Community (EC) today (23 November) acceded to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). In the presence of Federal Foreign Office State Secretary Peter Ammon, EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs signed at the Federal Foreign Office the Statute of IRENA on behalf of the European Community and State Secretary Ola Alterå signed on behalf of the Swedish Council Presidency.
In his speech Ammon highlighted the growing importance of renewable energy, noting that as a champion of renewable energy the EC carried considerable clout in an international body such as IRENA. He encouraged the European Commission to canvass support for IRENA also in its dealings with third countries.
IRENA’s main priority will be to advise member states on policy design and development in the field of renewable energy. It will also provide assistance in connection with knowledge and technology transfer as well as financing issues.
As of today, 137 countries and the EC have signed IRENA’s Statute. Germany is the depositary state of the Statute and is planning a new renewable energy innovation centre in Bonn.
The reason the EC is contracting party to the Statute of IRENA is that it has legal personality in its own right. Where its external dealings are concerned, the European Commission acts on its behalf.