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No. 301/08 | Berlin, 12.12.2008

IRENA to support climate protection

The foundation of the International Renewable Energy Agency IRENA, initiated by Germany, met with vigorous backing at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland. "This is precisely the right time for IRENA. Climate change and the financial crisis demand a clear focus on sustainable technologies such as renewable energies," said Federal Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel yesterday (11 December 2008) in front of more than 120 participants during a side event of the climate change conference.

All participants stressed that international cooperation to promote renewable energies is indispensable in fighting climate change, that serious climate protection is simply not possible without a massive expansion of the use of renewable energies. "We are much too slow on a global level", said Mr Gabriel.

The side event was organised by Denmark in cooperation with Germany and Spain and was attended, in addition to Mr Gabriel and his Danish colleague Ms Conny Hedegaard, by Ministers from Spain and Poland and senior representatives of India and Ethiopia.

The great response in Poznan reflects the growing interest all over the world in an institution such as IRENA, which will act as a platform for renewable energies and support and advise both industrialised and developing countries on expanding the use of renewable energies in a practice-oriented way.

A comprehensive preparatory process involving more than 60 interested states paved the way for the foundation of IRENA. All UN member states interested in becoming a member of IRENA are invited to its founding conference in Bonn on 26 January 2009. There, ministers will sign the founding agreement in an official ceremony. Following this, the agency will take up its work immediately.

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