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International Renewable Energy Agency

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 4 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what assessment he has made of the potential contribution of the International Renewable Energy Agency to the development of renewable energy. (251276)

[holding answer 26 January 2009]: To achieve our global climate change goals we need to accelerate rapidly the deployment of renewable sources of energy and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has the potential to make a significant contribution to that work.

The Founding Conference of the IRENA was held on 26 January 2009 and IRENA will be formally constituted when 25 countries have ratified the IRENA statutes. An initial work programme and budget have also to be agreed. It is therefore a little early to be able to make a detailed assessment of the contribution that IRENA might make in the future.

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what consideration the Government have given to joining the International Renewable Energy Agency; and if he will make a statement. (251277)

[holding answer 26 January 2009]: We have been very keen on joining and have been in close contact with the German Government on the details of the new organisation.

During 2008 we participated fully in the process for establishing the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and we participated at the founding conference on 26 January and the first session of the Preparatory Commission of IRENA on 27 January 2009.

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.