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International Renewable Energy Agency

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change what recent assessment he has made of the UK’s contribution to the International Renewable Energy Agency. (255175)

We have been in close contact with the German government on the development of IRENA. We participated in the preparatory meetings last year and at both the Founding Conference on 26 January and the first session of the Preparatory Commission of IRENA on 27 January.

We have been talking to Germany about:

(i) how IRENA can make a stronger contribution to the roll-out and deployment of renewables;

(ii) how we can broaden the membership to include key Asia-Pacific countries (e.g. Canada, China, Japan, India and the US) to ensure that the Agency has true global reach; and

(iii) 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.

We will continue to participate in the further preparatory meetings this year with a view to joining shortly. We plan to reach a final decision on UK membership of IRENA once we have satisfactorily concluded our discussions with the German government.

IRENA is expected to start full operations in 2010.