Sultan Al Jaber reaffirms UAE’s full support in advancing IRENA’s mission

Sultan Al Jaber reaffirms UAE’s full support in advancing IRENA’s mission

ABU DHABI, 14th January, 2023 (WAM) – On behalf of H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and President-Designate of the 28th Session of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 28), addressed the 13th session of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly.

Delivering his remarks, Dr. Al Jaber reaffirmed the UAE’s full support in advancing IRENA’s mission and said the UAE will continue to be its closest partner and strongest advocate. He noted that no sector offers as much potential as renewable energy and never has IRENA’s mission been more important than in the crucial years ahead of us.

“Since its foundation, IRENA has paved the way for the extraordinary growth in renewable energy capacity that we have seen worldwide. IRENA has been at the forefront of this growth, guiding supportive policies and encouraging new technologies that have led to lowered costs.

“Last year, renewables accounted for 81% of all new energy capacity. And the sector is now on course to expand more in the next five years, than over the last twenty years combined. With wind and solar now the most affordable new energy sources, the economic case has already been proven.”

“Over the next seven years, we will need to more than triple renewable generating capacity worldwide. The world must move much faster than ever before. And IRENA has a critical role to play in leading that global acceleration across all sectors, all regions and all communities,” Dr. Al Jaber said.

To meet the scale and pace of change, IRENA will need to adapt and innovate, according to Dr. Al Jaber. He cited the Energy Transition Accelerator Financing Platform (ETAF), which was launched on the sidelines of COP 26, as a good example of this and noted that the UAE has already committed to $400 million in initial funding to support the platform which is helping to target funding for emerging economies.

Dr. Al Jaber went on to share insights on how the UAE is reaping the benefits of being an early mover in renewable energy.

“Seventeen years ago, we launched a plan to explore its potential, and the benefits soon became clear. We have built the world’s largest and lowest cost solar arrays that are fundamental to our net zero development pathway. We have also invested $50 billion in renewable energy, on six continents around the world. Through these investments we have seen that you can be pro-climate and pro-growth.”

“Throughout this journey, IRENA has been a supportive guide and continues to show the way. We aim to leverage IRENA’s partnership and support for the benefit of the world at COP 28. Working hand-in-hand with IRENA, the UAE will champion innovation and ambition to transition global energy systems. We will propose transformative solutions that are based on science and fact, backed by policy, and endorsed by industry. In short, we will leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of inclusive climate progress,” Dr. Al Jaber said.

Concluding his remarks, Dr. Al Jaber extended an open invitation for partnership and collaboration to create a paradigm shift for tangible progress and help ensure that COP 28 UAE delivers the needed climate transformation.

The IRENA Assembly brings together Heads of State/Government, Ministers and energy decision-makers among its Membership and States-in-Accession, as well as multilateral organisations, global stakeholders and private actors to take stock of operational plans and policies and highlight the concerted action undertaken to implement the energy transition across countries, regions, and the world.