COP28 President-designate Sultan al-Jaber reaffirmed the United Arab Emirates’ commitment to advancing the mission of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on Saturday.
Al-Jaber’s, who is also the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, comments were made during the 13th session of the IRENA Assembly in Abu Dhabi, the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported late Saturday.
Al-Jaber spoke on behalf of the foreign minister during the assembly in which he acknowledged the tremendous potential of the renewable energy sector and highlighted the importance of IRENA’s mission in the years to come.
“Since its foundation, IRENA has paved the way for the extraordinary growth in renewable energy capacity that we have seen worldwide. IRENA has been at the forefront of this growth, guiding supportive policies and encouraging new technologies that have led to lowered costs,” he said.
In 2021, renewables accounted for 81 percent of all new energy capacity, al-Jaber revealed, adding that the sector is now on track to “expand more in the next five years, than over the last twenty years combined.”
“With wind and solar now the most affordable new energy sources, the economic case has already been proven.
“Over the next seven years, we will need to more than triple renewable generating capacity worldwide. The world must move much faster than ever before. And IRENA has a critical role to play in leading that global acceleration across all sectors, all regions and all communities,” al-Jaber said.
The UAE official also emphasized the need for IRENA to adapt and innovate in order to meet the scale and pace of change required. He cited the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing Platform (ETAF) as an example of this, noting that the UAE has already committed $400 million in initial funding to support the platform - which was launched on the sidelines of COP26 - which is helping to target funding for emerging economies.
Al-Jaber also shared insights on how the UAE has reaped the benefits of being an early mover in renewable energy, citing the country’s $50 billion investment in renewable energy on six continents around the world and the world’s largest and lowest cost solar arrays, which are fundamental to its net-zero development pathway.
“Throughout this journey, IRENA has been a supportive guide and continues to show the way. We aim to leverage IRENA’s partnership and support for the benefit of the world at COP 28. Working hand-in-hand with IRENA, the UAE will champion innovation and ambition to transition global energy systems. We will propose transformative solutions that are based on science and fact, backed by policy, and endorsed by industry,” al-Jaber said.
“In short, we will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of inclusive climate progress.”
The UAE official then extended an open invitation for partnership and collaboration to create a paradigm shift for tangible progress and help ensure that COP28 UAE delivers the needed climate transformation.
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