Egypt became the 100th member of the still young International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on 19 June 2012 when its ratification was confirmed.
IRENA is the only international organization to focus exclusively on renewable energy sources, aiming to advance their use worldwide. Since IRENA commenced operations, it has increasingly become the international nexus for cooperation in the development and global deployment of renewable energies. Its current work includes producing a global wind and solar atlas as well as core analyses and scenarios for the international expansion of renewables, taking into account cost-benefit comparisons as well as the impact on jobs and the environment. It also advises governments on expanding the use of renewables.
Federal Environment Minister Peter Altmaier: Germany emphatically supported the establishment of IRENA in order to advance the use of renewables around the world. We can take great satisfaction in how successful IRENA’s work has been in the short period of time it has been in existence. Egypt becoming IRENA’s 100th member shows what great international significance renewables now have. The rapidly growing number of committed countries can help get a global shift to green energy started quickly.
Federal Development Minister Dirk Niebel: Developing countries are strongly represented in IRENA. This makes it clear that renewables are seen as playing a key role in the areas of energy security, energy access and sustainable energy supply. In IRENA, we have created a very successful organization that promotes sustainable development, especially in our partner countries.
Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle: We are faced with the enormous challenge of restructuring the world’s energy supply to ensure its lasting viability. Increased use of renewables is the key to achieving this. Germany was a driving force behind the establishment of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). That more than 100 countries are now involved is a strong sign of how much momentum has been created by the changes that have been set in motion.
IRENA was initiated in Bonn on 26 January 2009 with the support of many countries. IRENA’s Statute formally entered into force on 8 July 2010 when the 25th instrument of ratification was received by the depositary, Germany. Ratification is an act under international law by which a state expresses its agreement to be bound by an international treaty after the necessary national approval process has been completed.
The spectrum of members is impressive: industrialized, emerging and developing countries from all regions of the world are represented. Oil-exporting countries participate, as do both large countries such as the USA and the smallest island countries. With their small, self-contained power grids these latter serve as models especially when it comes to renewables.
The headquarters of the IRENA Secretariat is located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. That makes IRENA the first international organization to be headquartered in the Arab world. One of the three directorates, the IRENA Innovation and Technology Centre (IITC), is located in Bonn. Germany thus plays an important role not only as depositary, but also as host country.
More information can be found at www.irena.org
Joint press release of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Federal Foreign Office.