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UAE spotlights renewables’ role
November 04, 2016
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ABU DHABI: The UAE joined 100 countries from around the world for the International Renewable Energy Agency’s (IRENA) twelfth council meeting held in Abu Dhabi.

The UAE delegation was led by Dr Thani Bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment and the Permanent Representative of the United Arab Emirates to IRENA.

The meeting comes at a very significant time preceding COP22 where countries will meet in Marrakech from November 7 to 18 to set up the roadmap to implement the Paris Climate agreement, which will enter into force on November 4.

IRENA’s 12th council also comes after Habitat III summit that took place in Quito, Ecuador, from October 17 to 20, where 193 countries of the United Nations adopted a new urban agenda, which highlights the key role of renewable energy in achieving sustainable development in cities. The UAE has served on the board that prepared the Habitat III summit and has partnered with Ecuador, Germany and IRENA to host the high-level day on renewable energy “RE-energising Cities” at the summit.

“In COP22, we will have the chance to come together to enhance climate action and take concrete steps into achieving our intended goals,” said Dr Al-Zeyoudi. “The UAE recognises the key role that renewable energy plays in addressing climate change and achieving sustainable development in our countries, and IRENA’s work is vital to support countries in implementing their climate change National Intended Contributions and accelerating the deployment of renewables.”

The council, which saw the highest country participation ever at an IRENA council meeting, met to discuss IRENA’s progress in the implementation of its work programme and the framework for the Medium-term Strategy 2018-2022, in addition to the role of renewables in urban settings and the Sustainable Development Goals, and Climate Change National Intended Contributions.

“We have seen impressive solar developments in the UAE this year with Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai, and recently in Abu Dhabi where its planned 350MW solar PV plant in Sweihan received very competitive bids, with the lowest bid offering a new global record low price of 2.42 U.S. US cents/kWh,” said Ali Alshafar, Deputy Head of Delegation of the UAE to IRENA’s council. “The success of renewables in the world has been tremendous, with its costs falling even further accelerating its deployment. This fact accentuates IRENA’s role as the global voice of renewables aiding countries in their energy transitions. As the host country of IRENA, we remain committed to fully support the agency on all fronts.”


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