Press Releases

5 May 2014
IRENA Initiatives Against Climate Change Receive Widespread Support

Countries on-board with Africa Clean Energy Corridor and SIDS – Lighthouses

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has received widespread support for two action-oriented initiatives, Africa Clean Energy Corridor and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – Lighthouses, the Agency presented at Abu Dhabi Ascent, the preparatory meeting for the UN Climate Summit this September in New York. The initiatives are designed to combat man-made climate change by scaling-up renewable energy in Africa and on small islands.

“Renewable energy resources hold the key to reducing carbon emissions. They are abundant, reliable, indigenous, help contain energy prices and meet increasing energy demand sustainably,” Adnan Z. Amin, IRENA’s Director-General, said yesterday evening at a ministerial panel on the Africa Clean Energy Corridor.

The action-oriented discussion focused on renewable power development zones in the Eastern and Southern African power pool countries to cluster renewable plants in areas with high potential, as well as resource planning for greater shares of renewables in the energy mix, new financing models and investment frameworks, and knowledge and capacity building. The panel included John Kufuor, former President of Ghana and the Secretary General’s Special Envoy on Climate Change; H.E. Tseliso Mokhosi, Minister of Energy, Meteorology and Water Affairs, Lesotho; H.E. Salvador Namburete, Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mozambique; H.E. Mutaz Mousa Abdullah, Minister of Electricity, Sudan; Gerald Banaga-Baingi, Principal Energy Officer, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda; and H.E. Savior Kasukuwere, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Zimbabwe.


Picture shows participants at IRENA’s ministerial session on its initiative the Africa Clean Energy Corridor (left to right): H.E. John Kufuor; Adnan Z. Amin; H.E. Salvador Namburete; H. E. Tseliso Mokhosi; H.E. Savior Kasukuwere.

Other active participants in the discussion included Dr. Thani Al Zeyoudi, Ambassador Extraordinary Plenipotentiary and the UAE’s Permanent Representative to IRENA; H.E. Mr. Herman Rosa Chávez, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, El Salvador; Mr. Robert Ichord, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Department of State, USA; Mr. Elijah C. Sichone, Executive Secretary, Regional Electricity Regulators Association of Southern Africa; Hans Olav Ibrekk, Policy Director, International Energy and Climate Initiative, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Norway; and Etienne Nyembo, Secrétaire General de l’ Energie au Ministère de l’Energie, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This morning’s ministerial session on SIDS – Lighthouses highlighted efforts made by SIDS in the deployment of renewable energy, successful examples, and key areas for countries to focus on. The panel was moderated by Kandeh Yumkella, Chairman of U.N. Energy. Panellists included H.E. Maxine McClean, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Barbados; Annick Girardin, State Secretary for Development and Francophonie, France; H.E. Barbara Hendricks, Minister of Environment, Building and Nuclear Safety, Germany; H.E. Nickolas Steele, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Business, Grenada; Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General, IRENA; H.E. Tony de Brum, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Marshall Islands; H.E. Faameoetauloa Tumaalii, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa; and H.E. Rolph Payet, Minster for Environment and Energy, Seychelles.


Picture shows panel members at IRENA’s ministerial session on SIDS – Lighthouses (left to right): H.E. Maxine McClean; Kandeh Yumkella and Adnan Z. Amin.

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Notes to editors:

The Africa Clean Energy Corridor will boost the deployment of renewable energy and help to meet rising African energy demand with clean, indigenous, cost-effective power by drawing on the continent’s enormous renewable energy resources and evolving power infrastructure.

As renewable power technologies decline in cost, they are increasingly competitive with fossil-fuelled power. They can be deployed rapidly to meet growing power needs, expand electricity access and fuel economic growth. Ministers from the countries of the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP) and the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) endorsed the initiative at the Fourth IRENA General Assembly in January 2014.

The plan’s action agenda identifies renewable power development zones to cluster renewable plants in areas with high potential, resource planning for greater shares of renewables in the energy mix, new financing models and investment frameworks, and knowledge and capacity building.

SIDS – Lighthouses enables a systematic approach for the transition to renewables in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).  Most SIDS are dependent on fossil fuels for the majority of their energy needs, especially for transport and electricity generation. Fuel imports come at great expense and crowd out vital capital and social expenditures, inhibiting economic growth, with a detrimental impact on health and the environment.

The Lighthouse initiative seeks to advance the efforts made by SIDS, individually and collectively, in the deployment of renewable energy, replicate successful examples, and accelerate action on the transition to renewables through concerted focus on key areas. By pursuing ambitious strategies on renewable energy, SIDS are not only harnessing the wealth of renewable energy resources they possess, but also demonstrating leadership in efforts on climate change.

About the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA): 

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is mandated as the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange by 130 Members (129 States and the European Union). About 40 additional countries are in the accession process and actively engaged. IRENA supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy. The Agency promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, including bioenergy, geothermal, hydropower, ocean, solar and wind energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

Contact information:
Timothy Hurst, Chief Communications Officer, IRENA, press@irena.org