IRENA and UAE Mission Co-host First Session of ‘Renewables Talk’

14 May 2020| Articles


IRENA Permanent Representatives meet virtually to discuss the role of renewable energy in COVID-19 recovery

Announced by the UAE Mission to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) during the Agency’s 10th Assembly in January 2020, the inaugural session of ‘Renewables Talk’ took place on 13 May 2020. The first session of the meeting between IRENA’s Permanent Representatives, set to be held on a quarterly basis, focused on the on the role of renewable energy in the global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 90-minute discussion, that gathered more than 100 attendees including IRENA Permanent Representatives and the broader diplomatic community, was moderated and co-hosted by Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, the UAE’s Permanent Representative to IRENA.

IRENA’s Director-General Francesco La Camera,led the discussion by giving IRENA members an update on the Agency’s work, highlighting the relevance of IRENA’s recently published Global Renewables Outlook to the global response to COVID-19. “The Global Renewables Outlook came at the right time,” he said, “The medium- and long-term outlook presented by the report can guide the short-term response to the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.”

Representatives from IRENA’s member countries were unified in their support of a green recovery, citing data from IRENA’s Global Renewables Outlook that shows that the renewable energy sector can employ 42 million people by 2050. The comprehensive analysis also found that transitioning towards a renewables-based energy system is a great investment opportunity that can boost cumulative global GDP gains above business-as-usual by USD 98 trillion between now and 2050.

Following the Director-General’s remarks, 11 permanent representatives offered their countries’ perspectives on the global response to the pandemic. Attendees heard remarks from: H.E. Zaake Kibedi, Ambassador of Uganda; H.E. Alvaro Ceriani, Ambassador of Uruguay; H.E. Akihiko Nakajima, Ambassador of Japan; H.E. Franz-Michael Melbin, Ambassador of Denmark; H.E. Marco Antonio Santiváñez Pimentel, Consul-General of Peru; H.E. Honourable Akauola, Ambassador of Tonga; H.E. Ernst Peter Fischer, Ambassador of Germany; H.E. Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy; HE. Jetro Ndlovu, Ambassador of Zimbabwe; and Mr Said Rahmani, French Deputy Permanent Representative.

In the event’s conclusion, the Director-General expressed his gratitude for the participation of IRENA’s Permanent Representatives: “I would like to thank all the participants for their contribution. We all share the same level of enthusiasm to place renewables at the centre of the global response to transition to a better world. As many of you have expressed, we must look towards the future, and we are.”

Offering her closing remarks, Dr Nawal Al-Hosany said, “The Renewables Talk initiative was launched to build an active and connected Permanent Representative network. I was hopeful that we could use this platform to put our hands together.”

The fact that so many of us met here today shows the spirit of connectivity and togetherness that the IRENA community thrives on,” she added.

Read the Director-Generals statement 'Staying on Course: Renewable Energy in the Time of COVID-19'

Read IRENA’s Global Renewables Outlook