Francesco La Camera is the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). He was appointed at the Ninth Assembly of IRENA, the ultimate decision-making body of the Agency. Mr. La Camera took office on 4 April 2019 and brings more than thirty years of experience in the fields of climate, sustainability, and international cooperation.
In his role, Mr. La Camera is responsible for leading the delivery of IRENA’s work programme and strategy in cooperation with the Agency’s member states. At a critical time for climate change and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, Mr. La Camera is tasked with redefining the structure and operations of the Agency in response to the urgent needs of its members.
Under his leadership the Agency has forged a series of new strategic partnerships with UN organisations including UNDP, UNFCCC and Green Climate Fund among others. A key priority of his tenure is to implement a more action-oriented approach to the Agency’s work.
Previously, Mr. La Camera served as Director-General of Sustainable Development, Environmental Damage, EU and International Affairs at the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land & Sea since 2014. In this capacity, he developed cooperation and partnership agreements with a wide range of countries, particularly developing countries including Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
Mr. La Camera held number of roles at the Italian Ministry of Environment, Land and Sea. As the national coordinator for climate, environment, resource efficiency and circular economy, he led the Italian delegation to UNFCCC’s COP 21 to 24 and the EU Presidency at COP 20. He was responsible for the preparation and organisation of Italy’s G7 Environment Presidency in 2017. He was a leading member of the Italian delegation to the G7 Environment Ministers meetings in 2016 and 2018.
He served as co-chair of the Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development established in Rome in partnership with FAO and UNDP and co-chaired the Financial Platform for Climate and Sustainable Development in partnership with the Italian Development Bank Cassa Depositi e Prestiti. He has also coordinated a number of national strategies including on sustainable development, green finance and fossil fuel subsides among other things.
Mr. La Camera led the support provided by Italy to several renewable energy initiatives such as the Initiative for Renewable Island Energy (IRIE) and the Global Geothermal Alliance (GGA), coordinated by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
Mr. La Camera spearheaded international cooperation on issues related to climate change and the environment. He played a key role in developing initiatives between Italy and multilateral organisations such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank, UNEP, UNDP and FAO, to implement the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals.
He chaired the meetings of the Signatories to the Aarhus Convention led by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE) and chaired the advisory board for the Convention’s implementation.
Author of many publications, Mr. La Camera was a Lecturer of Sustainable Development at the University of Cosenza and of Environment & Land Economics at the Roma Tre University. He began his career as an economic analyst at the Italian Ministry of Budget and Planning.
Mr. La Camera is a national of Italy, and graduate of the University of Messina in Political Sciences (Economic Policy major).
"Governments are not on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C. Renewable-based energy transition is the only realistic way to cut emissions by 2030," says Francesco La Camera ahead of COP27.
Vision for the current mandate
Elected as the Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency in 2019, Director-General Francesco La Camera has continued to effectively implement the Agency’s Vision and Mission through a meaningful action-orientated and results-driven approach. The Director-General remains steadfast in his values to drive a just and sustainable energy transition for all. In recognising the need for systemic and systematic changes to global energy systems, the Director-General placed cross-sectoral collaboration and IRENA’s adaptability to challenges and opportunities at the heart of his mandate.
“Renewables-based energy transitions can be a powerful equaliser in the world.”
“IRENA has long argued that renewables-based energy transitions can be a powerful equaliser in the world where disparities and gaps between communities, nations, and regions continue to widen. IRENA must see the energy transitions from different angles, to capture its profound impact on the established socio-economic, technological, and geopolitical trends around the world. It is essential that we continue to approach the transitions in such a comprehensive way, to stay abreast of wide-reaching impacts of this systemic and structural transformation. Therefore, my key priority of this tenure is to implement a more action-oriented approach to the Agency’s work.”