On 10-11 April 2008, the German government hosted the First Preparatory Conference for the founding of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin. A total of 170 participants from 60 countries attended and discussed the possible objectives, activities, organisation and finance of the new agency.
The meeting took place at a critical juncture, with growing demand for energy and the need to limit global warming. The conference participants shared a sense of urgency to switch to a more secure, low-carbon energy system without undermining economic and social development. They agreed that renewable energy must play an important role in this energy revolution.
The German government was encouraged by the support expressed at the conference. It took the initiative to further consult with the governments of all the participants assembled, and other countries potentially interested in joining the process.