16 June 2020 |Virtual
Representatives from 38 countries and the European Union across IRENA’s global membership gathered to exchange views on the geopolitical implications of the energy transformation and the future of IRENA’s related work. The meeting held on June 16, was the second dedicated member discussion under the Agency’s ‘Collaborative Framework’ platform, established to facilitate targeted discussions around specific themes and topics.
The meeting was organised in response to the Assembly request to the Agency to advance the work on geopolitics of the energy transformation. During the meeting, Members offered a broad range of insights and perspectives on the geopolitics of energy in the age of renewables. They stressed the importance of IRENA’s global reach and the ability to harness research, technical and political aspects of this subject that is growing in importance. The meeting, facilitated by Germany and the UAE, requested IRENA to advance several topical streams of work, tapping into the extensive Member knowledge and networks.
IRENA Director-General, Francesco La Camera indicated that the groundbreaking initial analysis, by the Global Commission for the Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation in 2019, provides an excellent basis for the future work. He welcomed the active engagement of IRENA Members and their commitment to establish a dedicated group to guide this work. He acknowledged that improving the world’s understanding of the issue was much needed and thus a deeper analysis and global engagement was now required in light of a rapidly changing landscape.
“We have seen that renewables-based systems have shown great resilience at the time of economic downturn. We also we have seen the risks, including along the supply systems. Co-operating around the geopolitics of energy may provide a unique opportunity to shape emerging relations in a way that is beneficial for all,” said Mr. La Camera in his opening intervention.
Participants at the meeting agreed to create a dedicated group within IRENA to set the substantive agenda for the coming two years and guide the work of the IRENA Secretariat. The group would also provide suggestions for the participation of external entities and experts on the topics to be addressed across various workstreams.
The Director-General welcomed the agreed way forward, including that future analysis will be steered by an inclusive and diverse body of Members and States in Accession with a strong interest in the topic.
He also sought broad agreement that the next phase of work focus on in-depth analytical research and the development of a menu of options around selected topics under the Agency’s umbrella.
It was further suggested to establish a 'community of experts' for each work stream, including stakeholders from other international organisations, regional institutions, academia, and the private sector as appropriate. Such community of experts would provide diverse input to inform IRENA’s work on respective streams of work and promote dynamic global conversation on selected topics.
The group will be open to all interested Members and States in Accession who are committed to actively participating in and contributing to the activities.