Abu Dhabi, a firm commitment to a cleaner future

A firm commitment to a cleaner and more sustainable future. Abu Dhabi has hosted this weekend the 10th Session of the Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA, for its acronym in English). The meeting has been attended by more than 1,500 personalities, including heads of state and government, ministers, leaders of international organizations, as well as representatives of public, private and civil society entities.

Among other aspects, the international forum, which took place between last Friday and last Sunday, has served to demand from the different states greater commitments to decarbonize their economies. It has also been useful to highlight the commitment of the organizing country, United Arab Emirates, with the transition to cleaner energy sources. Precisely, Thani bin Ahmed al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has been one of the hosts of the event.

In the act of presentation, the president positively valued the role played by IRENA in promoting the collective effort towards the ecological transition. However, he warned: "To continue developing renewable energy projects on the ground, the world needs to consider how to handle the inconsistent nature of renewable electricity generation." Similarly, the general director of IRENA, the Italian Francesco La Camera, pointed out other challenges that must be faced in the field of alternative energy: “Everyone talks about the (ecological) transition, but few know how to carry it out. We all have to work on this issue to present a clear voice that supports an inclusive transition. ”

The congress has hosted numerous interministerial sessions with themes such as decarbonization, green hydrogen, renewable energy financing in developing countries and hydraulic energy. Likewise, activities have been organized where both public and private actors have had the opportunity to share their experiences in the implementation of clean energy projects. One of the most anticipated acts was the IRENA Youth Forum. "Young people are the core of the movement for energy sustainability," said Minister Al-Zeyoudi. "We have launched multiple initiatives to bridge the gap between youth and political decision makers," he said.

Among the most prominent authorities who attended the forum, is Tijjani Muhammad-Bandé, president of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly. In two meetings held outside the official agency of the program, the Nigerian diplomat held two bilateral meetings with the crown prince of the UAE Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nayhan and with the sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nayhan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Gulf country. During these conversations, new ways were explored by which the UAE can strengthen its collaboration with the United Nations in the area of ​​humanitarian cooperation.

This January is particularly intense in Abu Dhabi. The 10th session of the IRENA Assembly precedes two other important initiatives being held in the Emirati capital throughout this week. This is, on the one hand, the World Summit on the Future of Energy 2020 and, on the other, the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. IRENA, whose headquarters are located in the same city, will enjoy an important participation in both meetings.

Spain, next host country

In the course of the event it has also been known that the next edition of the IRENA Assembly will be held in Spain. The forum will be held in early 2021. The designation reinforces the role of Spain as a world reference in the field of clean energy, according to the Secretary of State for Energy José Domínguez Abascal, who has been the Spanish representative at the meeting held in Abu Dhabi.

In statements to El Correo del Golfo, the Spanish senior official has stated that the greatest challenge that states face lies in replacing fossil fuels with clean energies. “It is a change with which we have a moral obligation; if we do not do something, our children and our grandchildren will see a worse world than we have, ”Domínguez Abascal added.