IRENA to Mobilise Energy Transition Action at COP26


Despite progress under way in the energy transition and growing net-zero commitments in the ‘Race to Zero’, the world is not on track to limit global warming to 1.5°C. IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook  confirms that an energy transition grounded in renewable sources and technologies is the only realistic way to meet the global goals of the UN Agenda for Sustainable Development and Paris Agreement.

From 1-12 November at COP26, IRENA was able to centre-stage energy transition benefits for countries, encouraging ambition and showcasing best practices how commitment can translate into concrete action and implementation on the ground. Together with global partners and allies, IRENA mobilised concrete energy transition action through new initiatives on sustainable jobs, green hydrogen, international climate finance and renewables in remote communities.

Take a first glimpse at what IRENA is doing at COP26.

IRENA Co-organised Events

(GMT | UK Time)

01 November 2021

14:30 – 15:30

NDC Partnership Pavilion

Raising Climate Ambition in The Gambia – Best Practices and Lessons Learned

At this event, IRENA showcased the work and collaborative efforts undertaken to enhance The Gambia’s NDC, which was deemed “1.5° compatible”. Representatives from the government (MECCNAR), NDCP and implementing partners (IRENA, ICLEI, UNDP) presented the work undertaken to inform the NDC update and discuss how this work can benefit and guide the implementation of the NDC. More information here.

16:00 – 17:00

Launch of the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing (ETAF) platform

04 November 2021

12:00 – 13:30


Renewable Energy for Agri-food Systems: Towards Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement

IRENA and FAO have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen their collaboration regarding the deployment of renewable energy in agri-food, fisheries and forestry chains, and sustainable bioenergy. As a concrete output of this collaboration, the organisations presented a joint report on ‘Renewable Energy for Agri-food Systems: Towards Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement’. More information here.

12:00 – 14:45

Action Room 1 - Hydro

Disrupting the Status Quo: Accelerating the Global Energy Transition for a 1.5°C Future Marrakech Partnership Energy Action Event

IRENA, as focal point of the energy thematic area of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action coordinated the COP26 Energy Action Event that  showcased  the Climate Action Pathway on Energy, highlight ambitious initiatives and innovations driving transition and explore practical approaches for overcoming the barriers to deliver the 2030 milestones to net zero. More information here and for live streaming here

13:30 – 14:30

US Pavilion

Expanding Global Wind Ambition in Pursuit of a Clean Energy Economy

In this event, co-hosted by the United States, Denmark and IRENA, the Director General provided a global context on the need to expand global wind ambition, how to achieve the targets pf 380 GW by 2030 and 2000GW by 2050, highlighting the need for international cooperation and ambitious domestic goals to achieve such targets. More information here.

05 November 2021

11:30 – 12:30

EU Pavilion

Potential of offshore energy and green hydrogen to power the global energy transition

The jointly organised session by IRENA and the European Commission demonstrated the potential of offshore wind and green hydrogen as a secure, clean and economically viable option to drive the decarbonisation of the energy sector. More information here.

08 November 2021

12:00 – 14:00

AOSIS Pavilion

“Climate Emergency Finance for SIDS Energy Transformation to stay 1.5°C Alive”

Preceded by the signing of an MoU with IRENA and AOSIS, this event brought together SIDS and key stakeholders to deliberate on concrete solutions, including climate finance, and identifying significant roles and contributions to supporting SIDS energy transformation policies and implementation, including the Islands Energy Transition towards a 1.5°C World. More information here.

15:30 – 16:30

Climate Pavilion of La Francophonie

“Electrification of Rural Healthcare in Sub-Saharan Africa through Decentralized Renewables”

This event, co-organised by IRENA, the Walloon Government of Belgium, and the World Health Organization, showcased the opportunity that decentralized renewable energy solutions present to providing reliable, cost-effective, and modular electricity services to rural health centers without access to reliable energy supply. More information soon.

10 November 2021

9:00 – 10:00

Capacity-building Hub

“Energy Transition for Climate Action”

This event provided a global forum for driving the energy transition and building momentum on climate action, sharing best practices and exploring the key role countries will take to align short-term measures with long-term goals, while supporting the NDCs review process. More information here.


IRENA Participation in Events

(GMT | UK Time)

03 November 2021

12:00 – 13:00

Water Pavilion

Enhancing Capacity of Landlocked Developing Countries to Address Climate Change and water-related challenges during COVID-19 era: Experiences and Solutions

The Director General spoke in this event by the UNOHRLLS and that will focus on how the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated climate change impacts in LLDCs and the priority needs and areas of capacity support that should be addressed in the future to ensure LLDCs can mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts amidst other challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic. More information here.

16:00 – 17:00

SEforAll Pavilion

Renewing Energy Transition Ambitions in Latin America and the Caribbean

The Director General provided opening remarks, along with IDB and SEforAll, for this event which seeks to disseminate the progress, challenges and opportunities of RELAC countries aiming to increase the renewable share of their power systems up to at least 70% by 2030, therefore significantly contributing to achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement. More information here.

18:30 – 19:30

GEF Pavilion

A Financing Roadmap to build the Green Hydrogen Economy

The Director General set the scene in this event co-hosted by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Chile that brought together high-level public authorities in a challenging and open dialogue and an international exchange of best practices mainly from the financing perspective. More information here.

04 November 2021

10:00 – 11:40

Business Pavilion

Make Coal History

IRENA opened this event by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to explain the importance of accelerating the energy transition towards climate recovery by highlighting IRENA’s World Energy Transitions Outlook and what actions need to take place in the coming years to reach 1.5°C. More information here.

11:15 – 12:00

French Pavilion

Unlocking Solar Energy Deployment at Scale: Sustainable Renewables Risk Mitigation Initiative

IRENA spoke in this event co-hosted by the World Bank that aims to address the barriers and solutions to unlock farther and faster deployment of privately financed solar energy in ISA Member countries, emphasizing the work IRENA undertook to implement the Sustainable Renewable Risk Mitigation Initiative. More information here.

11:30 – 13:00


Making the global transition to clean power a reality

IRENA moderated a dedicated session on the phase-out coal organized by the UK COP26 Presidency and co-hosted by the Energy Transition Council. Speakers in the segment will discuss measures to scale up clean power more avoid new coal power, moving away from the use of coal. More information here.

17:05 – 17:20

Strangford Lough / Blue Zone

Multi-Stakeholder Platform for Transitioning Remote Communities to Renewable Energy

IRENA, along with Natural Resources Canada and Commission of Environmental Cooperation Council, will launch the Multi-Stakeholder Platform for Transitioning Remote Communities to Renewable Energy. More information here.

05 November 2021

10:00 – 11:00

Wind Pavilion

The Ocean as a Clean Energy Solution

IRENA provided opening remarks to this event by Global Wind Energy Council that discussed the global untapped potential of offshore wind as a climate change mitigation opportunity. More information here.

16:00 – 17:00

EU Pavilion

EU Engagement in UN Compacts

As lead of the Energy Transition theme of the High-level Dialogue on Energy, IRENA presented the various compacts that is has undertaken with partners as part of the High-level Dialogue and discuss how these compacts will contribute to global and EU climate objectives. More information here.

06 November 2021

13:30 – 14:45

University of Strathclyde

Shaping the Future of Shipping

To ensure that the energy transition is equitable for all, the Director-General’s intervention focused on what infrastructure is required to ensure a just transition. More information here

07 November 2021

11:30 – 12:30

Hilton Hotel

“World Climate Summit”

As an institutional partner of the World Climate Foundation, IRENA moderated a session on “Powering the World - Solving the Challenges of the Global Energy Transition” where speakers addressed the changing energy system and how investment must accelerate to support the transition. More information here.