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No. 147/08 | Berlin, 01.07.2008

One more step towards setting up an International Renewable Energies Agency

Workshop to prepare for the establishment of IRENA

Rising energy prices, climate change and poverty alleviation leave the world with challenges that can only be overcome by international efforts. Renewable energies can make a major contribution to this end. So far there has been no international organisation in place focusing on supporting and providing concrete advice to industrialised and developing countries on the expansion of renewable energies and the setting of better regulatory frameworks. Together with other interested states the Federal Government therefore intends to set up an International Renewable Energies Agency (IRENA). The Bundestag supports this endeavour and on 19 June voted in favour of the establishment of IRENA by a large majority.

The preparatory process is now entering its final stage: following a preparatory conference on 10/11 April 2008 in Berlin, the Federal government organised an international workshop from 30 June to 1 July 2008 in Berlin. 100 participants from 40 countries came together and in two parallel working groups they discussed the preliminary work programme and the statutes and funding of the agency. The participants of the workshop agreed that a swift start-up of IRENA was expedient and necessary. There was also a consensus on the basic structure of IRENA. Furthermore, broad agreement could also be found on the activities IRENA should concentrate on from the outset. These would include policy advice, technology transfer and the development of competencies.

A decision was moreover taken to hold a final preparatory conference in autumn of this year to finalise IRENA’s statutes. The formal establishment of IRENA is foreseen for the beginning of 2009 with an official signing ceremony in Bonn. The entire preparatory process is being carried out by the Federal Environment Ministry and the Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development in close cooperation with the Foreign Office.

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