The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) kicked off its twenty-fourth Council meeting today in Abu Dhabi. The biannual two-day meeting, chaired this year by Uruguay, gathers more than 400 delegates from 108 countries to discuss the world’s energy transition ahead of the annual UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sham el-Sheikh, Egypt.
“We are staring into a terrifying abyss of irreversible climate consequences if we fail to act,” said IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera. “The IRENA Council meeting comes at a critical point in time and gives the international community an opportunity to strengthen collaboration and bolster the world’s commitment to renewables for climate action ahead of COP27 and COP28.”
“We are convinced that IRENA must continue to spearhead the penetration of renewable energy around the world,” said the 24th Council Chair and National Director of Energy of Uruguay, Mr Fitzgerald Cantero. “The solutions to mitigate energy poverty and the solution to the current energy crisis will come from renewables, and those of us who are already on this path will take further strides in this direction.”
This year’s Council meeting will hold high-level events on pressing energy transition topics including hydrogen, critical materials, agri-food and enabling frameworks for the energy transition in high-risk environments. Council Members will also discuss the Agency’s medium-term strategy among other relevant matters.
Despite continuous growth in renewable energy capacity over the past decade, IRENA views the pace of change as inadequate in limiting rising temperatures to 1.5 degrees. According to the Agency’s World Energy Transitions Outlook, a renewables-centered energy transition is the only realistic way to meet the 2030 time frame for emissions reductions established by the IPCC, as well as the objectives of the 2030 timeline for sustainable development. Tripling investments in renewables will be fundamental for the scale and pace of the energy transition to reach the levels required to achieve Paris Agreement targets.
IRENA will host a pavilion at COP27 and deliver a series of interlocking events based on the organization’s unparalleled mix of knowledge capacity, planning and implementation tools. Each event held with global partners and allies is designed to promote meaningful action and renewable energy investments in developing countries. The Agency is working closely with Egypt in its capacity as COP27 President and is the energy lead in supporting the High-Level Champions and the Marrakesh Partnership for Global Climate Action.