Berlin, 24 April 2008. At the invitation of the German Federal Government representatives of 60 countries met on 10th and 11th April 2008 in Berlin at the Preparatory Conference for the Foundation of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). Chair of the World Future Council, Bianca Jagger, delivered a dinner speech (full speech) at the event, calling the establishment of IRENA “both necessary and urgent”.
“We stand at a crossroads in history, climate change is no longer just an environmental issue: it touches every part of our lives: peace, security, human rights, poverty, hunger, health, mass migration and economics”, said Jagger. Representatives shared her sense of the urgency to switch to a more secure, low-carbon energy system without undermining economic and social development. They agreed that renewable energy has to play an important role in this energy revolution.
Jagger went on to say “We have reached both an environmental and an economic tipping point. Which direction we choose to take will decide the fate of our planet. What is certain is that we must bring about fundamental change in our energy systems, with a renew focus on energy security and lower, if not zero, carbon emissions”.
IRENA will constitute an independent driving force behind renewable energy and help to create a level playing field for renewable energy development in the Global South. Participants at the conference emphasised that without an organisation such as IRENA the world will remain unable to realise the benefits of renewable energy. IRENA will be instrumental in encouraging research and development to facilitate its affordability and implementation.
Jagger said, “IRENA will work toward improved regulatory frameworks for renewable energy through enhanced and informed policy advice, improvements in the transfer of renewable energy technology; progress on skills and know-how for renewable energy; it will be able to offer a scientifically sound information basis through applied policy research and better financing of renewable energy. IRENA should focus on all forms of renewable energy, taking into account sustainability criteria. It should also deal with the links between renewable energy and energy efficiency.”
“Germany has shown great leadership and vision in spearheading the establishment of IRENA. Hermann Scheer has been the driving force behind a renewable energy revolution, without his vision and unwavering commitment to the establishment of IRENA we will not be here,” she said. “We must grasp firmly the hand that is being offered to us and embark upon this revolution to prevent global climate disaster”.
“This is the over-riding moral imperative of the century, and the time has come for decisionmakers in politics and economics to embrace this opportunity. There is no time for further excuses, postponement, or procrastination. This is a time for courage and leadership, and for positive and immediate action.”
Participants expressed their commitment to the formation of IRENA. The Founding Conference will take place in autumn 2008.
The website for the IRENA at www.irena.org.
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