The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) convened Members in Abu Dhabi for its twenty-fifth Council meeting to outline actionable steps to accelerate a just and inclusive energy transition, six months out from the 28th Climate Change Conference (COP28), which is hosted in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) this year.
IRENA’s biannual, two-day meeting, with Antigua and Barbuda serving as Chair and the United States of America as Vice-Chair, showcases how each Member is working to increase global renewable energy capacity, in the aftermath of ongoing energy and geo-political crises.
Speaking ahead of the council meeting, IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera said, “Collaboration across the international community has never been more important. The twenty-fifth IRENA Council meeting offers a welcome opportunity for the Agency to assess how we are progressing and identify the actions needed to ensure we remain agile and responsive to the needs of our Members.”
“As we gather here in the UAE, the host of COP28, this IRENA Council meeting will produce new insights and ideas on how we can make this year a turning point for the global energy transition,” he added.
For his part, Deputy Permanent Representative of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations and IRENA Council Chair Mr Tumasie Blair said, “Global events in recent times have worsened the challenges faced by many nations, including small island developing states like Antigua and Barbuda. As we quickly approach COP28, IRENA governing body meetings like this Council present us with an opportunity to assess and realign our course of action to ensure that we remain agile in the face of the monumental climate challenge ahead.”
This year’s Council meeting delves into the pressing issues at the top of the climate and sustainable development agenda, including the need to increase the deployment of renewable energy capacity, mobilise energy transition finance and enhance mitigation and adaptation efforts.
The twenty-fifth Council meeting also examines the global status of geothermal energy, critical materials, and the preliminary findings of IRENA’s Preview of the World Energy Transitions Outlook 2023. It shows that the scale and extent of the change achieved in all sectors to date fall far short of what is required to stay on the 1.5°C pathway.