News ID: 123515
Published: 0307 GMT July 29, 2015

UAE successful in promoting renewables

UAE successful in promoting renewables

When the government of Kenya hosted a UN Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy in Nairobi back in 1981, one of the conclusions at that meeting was a proposal for the creation of an international agency dedicated to renewable energy.

After nearly 28 years of on-again, off-again negotiations, the first-ever International Renewal Energy Agency (IRENA) was established in 2009, Ipsnews reported.

The distinction to host that agency went to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), described as one of the pioneers of renewable energy.

On more than one occasion, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has singled out the UAE for its relentless contribution towards the UN’s ultimate goal of Sustainable Energy for all (SE4ALL).

Currently, the UAE hosts not only IRENA, described as the first international organization to be based in the Middle East, but also the Dubai Carbon Center of Excellence (DCCE).

The DCCE is a joint initiative between the UN Development Program (UNDP) and the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy aimed at promoting low carbon in Dubai.

IRENA is headed by Director-General Adnan Z. Amin of Kenya.

The concept of SE4ALL takes on added importance in the context of the UN’s post-2015 development agenda, which will be adopted by over 150 political leaders at the upcoming world summit meeting in September.

The new development agenda is expected to be one of the world body’s most ambitious endeavors to eradicate poverty and hunger by 2030.

But the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will be an integral part of that agenda, will also include SE4ALL.

In keeping with SDGs and the UN’s development agenda, IRENA is pursuing and supporting international efforts to double the share of renewable energy by 2030, according to a new roadmap launched by the agency back in 2013.

The secretary-general is convinced sustainable energy “is among the most critical issues of our time.”

One out of every five persons has no reliable access to electricity, he pointed out, and more than double this number — 40 percent of the global population still relies on biomass for cooking and heating.

“This is neither equitable nor sustainable,” says Ban.

According to the United Nations, energy is central to everything we do, from powering our economies to empowering women, from generating jobs to strengthening security. And it cuts across all sectors of government and lies at the heart of a country’s core interests.

Renewable energy is primarily energy that comes mostly from natural resources, including sunlight, wind, rain, tides, waves, and geothermal heat.

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