International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Turns 15

IRENA supports 168 member countries and the EU in their transition to a sustainable energy future

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is celebrating 15 years of guiding countries and unions alike to a more energy efficient and environmentally conscious future.

It was established with the main aim of promoting the widespread adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy worldwide in 2009, with IRENA celebrating 15 years since its foundation on 26th January of this year.

Its 15th anniversary coincides with the first annual International Day of Clean Energy as declared by the General Assembly. It was implemented to further raise awareness and mobilise action to accelerate the transition to clean energy for the benefit of people and the planet.

What is IRENA?

IRENA is an agency with a wealth of member countries that facilitates international cooperation, uniting entities from governments to private sector companies, for the benefit of knowledge exchange, sharing best practices and accelerating expertise in the renewable energy sector.

With a primary focus on accelerating the transition to a sustainable energy future, the agency promotes renewable sources such as solar and wind power, as well as hydropower, geothermal and bioenergy. As well as this, and to help pave the way to a more sustainable future, the body also conducts research and analysis to continue to facilitate foundations to make the energy landscape — and world as a whole — a better place.

The advice IRENA provides, as well as capacity building and development of renewable energy projects, helps support its member countries from its HQ in Abu Dhabi, UAE, playing a crucial role in advancing global efforts to address climate change.

Director General Francesco La Camera, who is responsible for leading the delivery of IRENA’s work programme and strategy in cooperation with the agency’s member states, has lead the agency to forge a series of new strategic partnerships with UN organisations under his leadership, which started in April 2019. These organisations include the likes of UNDP, UNFCCC and Green Climate Fund. One of his main priorities is to ensure the agency focuses on a more action-focused programme moving forward.

He said: “It is essential that we continue to approach the transitions in such a comprehensive way, to stay abreast of wide-reaching impacts of this systemic and structural transformation. Therefore, my key priority of this tenure is to implement a more action-oriented approach to the Agency's work.”

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