The importance of access to reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy services for sustainable development, particularly in developing countries cannot be undermined. As such, Non – Aligned movement representing the largest collective global grouping of developing countries has recognized the significance of the enhancing international Cooperation through partnership in all forms of energy including clean and renewable Energy. In pursuit of this, NAM leaders have extended their full cooperation with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is an intergovernmental organization to promote adoption and sustainable use of renewable energy. It was founded in 2009 and its statute entered into force on 8 July 2010. IRENA’s objectives are to become the main driving force in promoting a transition towards the use of renewable energy on a global scale. Acting as the global voice for renewable energies, IRENA provides practical advice and support for both industrialized and developing countries, helping them improve their regulatory frameworks and building capacity. The agency facilitates access to all relevant information including reliable data on the potential of renewable energy, best practices, effective financial mechanisms and state-of-the-art technological expertise. IRENA directs its principal partnership activities towards knowledge sharing, ensuring that existing information and experience is developed, organized, and made accessible in a usable format. The Statute of IRENA stipulates that membership in the Agency is open to those States that are members of the United Nations and to regional intergovernmental economic integration organizations, willing and able to act in accordance with the objectives and activities laid down in the Statute. Currently, IRENA has 139 Members and more than 35 States have started the formal process of becoming Members.
IRENA has extended full cooperation towards sustainable energy usage in the developing world. On 19 January 2014, IRENA along with the the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) today announced approximately $41 million in concessional loans for renewable energy projects in developing countries. The financed projects have a combined total capacity of 21 MW and will bring reliable and sustainable power to rural communities that are currently lacking access to modern energy services. The loans go to a geographically diverse set of countries, including the Republic of Ecuador, Sierra Leone, the Maldives, Mauritania, Samoa, and Mali. On 20th January 2015, IRENA announced the grant of $57 million worth of concessional loans for five separate renewable energy projects across developing countries. The loans come as part of the second of seven loan cycles which intend to commit $350 million over seven years to develop renewable energy projects across the developing world. This second cycle will see 35 MW worth of renewable energy backed in Argentina, Cuba, Iran, Mauritania, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
IRENA supports developing countries and helps them deploy renewable energy as a substitute to traditional energy that has negative effects on humans and the environment. The body encourages investment in renewable energy and we launched many initiatives to finance up to 50 per cent of each project in order to allow for the remainder to be financed by banks, international financial institutions and other development partners. One such significant developing partner organization is the Non – Aligned Movement. In the Tehran Declaration after the 2012 NAM summit, leaders welcomed with appreciation the entering into force of the Statute of the Agency, and the holding of the inaugural session of its Assembly held from 4-5 April 2011 in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates. It may also be mentioned here it was primarily due to the support of the NAM member states that Abu Dhabi was in first place able to hold the headquarters of IRENA. The rationale behind NAM’s support was that since the activities of the IRENA would go a long way to serve the needs of developing countries, so having IRENA headquarters in a member-country of the NAM could be of great significance to developing nations and members of the Movement.
In accordance with his objective of promoting the use of renewable energy on the global scale, NAM has encouraged its Member States, and other countries that have not yet done so to consider joining IRENA. NAM Head s of State or Government expressed their aspiration to see IRENA in the near future playing an important and positive role towards promoting the sustainable use of different forms of renewable energy. In this context, the Heads of State or Government have also welcomed IRENA’s participation in the work of the United Nations General Assembly as Observer Organization. International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was established for finding effective solutions for the increasing international needs of energy, reducing the degradation of the environment and slowing down global climate change. the countries of the Non-Aligned Movement, with their large number, solidarity and unified positions, are capable of influencing the international arena in a way that would promote the opportunities of achieving the above mentioned objectives.
By Dr. Ankit Srivastava, Editor