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IRENA Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin.
IRENA Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin.
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ABU DHABI, UAE — More than 300 high-level government representatives from 100 countries — the largest number ever represented at an IRENA Council meeting — gathered Tuesday in Abu Dhabi to attend the 12th Council of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

At the outset of the meeting, IRENA’s Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin, presented the annual report of the agency’s work.

“When we started out just over five years ago, many were not convinced of the need for the energy transformation. But developments during the past few years have exceeded the expectations of even the most optimistic supporters,” Amin said.

“Plummeting costs and rapid innovation have spurred investments, transforming renewable energy solutions from the periphery, to an economically and technically preferable option.”

In looking ahead to the future, he added: “We live in a time of extraordinary change; change that is reshaping the way we think, live and work, and bringing new and transformative opportunities that will revitalize economies and lift people out of poverty, but also disrupt the known and put strain on the incumbents. The pace of this change will only accelerate. With the continued implementation of the work programme and responsiveness to the needs of our Members, IRENA is playing our part to ensure that the sustainable energy future we need becomes a reality.”

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For the remainder of the council, participants will discuss the content and focus of the agency’s future work as part of IRENA’s Medium-term Strategy for 2018-2022.

Thematic sessions will also be held on renewable energy in cities, renewable energy and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, implementing renewable energy as a means for countries to achieve their national commitments under the Paris Agreement (NDCs), renewable energy opportunities in Asia, and the corporate sourcing of renewables.

The council, which is composed of 21 IRENA members, meets twice annually to facilitate cooperation among members, oversee implementation of the IRENA work programme and complete substantive preparations for the agency’s annual assembly.