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International Renewable Energy Agency

Volume 487: debated on Tuesday 3 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change for what reasons the Government has not supported the proposal for an International Renewable Energy Agency; what assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the work of the International Energy Agency in the area of renewable energy; and if he will make a statement. (252132)

We have fully supported the proposal for an International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). During 2008, we participated in the process for establishing the IRENA and we have also participated at the Founding conference on 26 January and the first session of the Preparatory Commission of IRENA on 27 January 2009.

To achieve our climate change and energy goals, we need to accelerate rapidly the deployment of renewable sources of energy and have greater co-ordination. IRENA has the potential to make a significant contribution to this work.

We have been very keen on joining and have been in close contact with the German Government on the details of the new organisation. For example, we have been talking to Germany about how IRENA can contribute to the roll-out and deployment of renewables and how we can help to get other countries such as Canada, China, Japan, India and the US to join. We are also talking about how we can make sure that IRENA works closely with, and avoids overlap and duplication with, other international bodies and organisations, such as the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the renewable energy and energy efficiency partnership (REEEP), of which the UK is already a member.