Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves will leave St. Vincent and the Grenadines today, Tuesday, at the head of a five-member delegation to attend the seventh assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) taking place in Abu, Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates on Jan. 14 and 15.
The delegation also includes Gonsalves’ wife, Eloise, their daughter, Isis Gonsalves, special adviser at the SVG UN mission in New York, head of the Energy Unit, Ellsworth Dacon, and Ken Morris a senior official in the Ministry of Finance.
The prime minister and his delegation will return to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Jan. 17.
Government officials from more than 150 countries including 75 ministers, and leaders from international organisations, the private sector and civil society are gathering in Abu Dhabi the assembly. The assembly will bring together energy leaders to set the global renewable energy agenda and take concrete action to accelerate the ongoing global energy transition.
“2016 was a remarkable year for renewable energy. The falling costs of solar and wind power in markets around the world highlight the increasing cost-competitiveness of renewable energy which has become the preferred option for new power generation capacity in many countries around the world,” IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said.
“In addition, innovations in technology and new business models are bringing renewable solutions to people who previously had no access to energy. These developments, coupled with the entry into force of the Paris Agreement and the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, underscore growing momentum for renewable energy and give fresh impetus to the case for transitioning to a sustainable energy future. Efforts now need to turn to scaling-up renewables in end-use sectors such as transportation, industry, and heating and cooling.”
The Seventh Assembly will focus on the critical role of renewable energy in powering economic growth, combatting climate change, expanding energy access and meeting global sustainable development goals.
“IRENA is now the recognised leader for authoritative and objective knowledge resources on renewable energy costs, resource potentials and employment,” Amin said.
“The agency has also developed practical tools to enable countries to better plan their energy transition. Our annual Assembly provides a critical opportunity for high-level engagement with our Members and partners to examine how international cooperation can speed the transition to a sustainable energy future through concrete action and initiatives.”
The Assembly marks the opening of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week and precedes the World Future Energy Summit, a global gathering of thousands of energy leaders.
IRENA will participate in a number of events throughout the week, covering topics ranging from the decarbonisation of energy systems to the scaling up of variable renewable power.