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Norway joins new international agency to promote renewable energy

The Government has decided that Norway will join the newly founded International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The purpose of IRENA is to promote the use of renewable energy on a global scale, particularly in developing countries.

27/01/2009 :: – The Government intends to play its part in promoting the use of renewable energy, which is absolutely essential if we are to succeed in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The establishment of IRENA is a positive signal in the run-up to the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen later this year. Norway’s ambition is that IRENA should be an effective organisation, with clear targets, for promoting the use of renewable energy, said Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre.

IRENA is open to all UN Member States.

IRENA will promote the use of the following forms of energy: bioenergy, geothermal energy, hydropower, ocean and wave energy, including tidal energy and ocean thermal energy, and solar and wind energy. IRENA is the only international organisation that is solely dedicated to the promotion of renewable energy.

The Ministries of the Environment, Petroleum and Energy and Foreign Affairs will cooperate on Norwegian participation in IRENA. The State Secretary of the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy, Robin Martin Kåss, signed the founding treaty on behalf of Norway in Bonn on 26 January.

– IRENA’s tasks are formidable, but achievable. In close and efficient collaboration with other institutions she can contribute to do what the IEA in its recent World Energy Outlook describes that we need to do, if we are to arrive at a supportable and sustainable future. Renewable energy clearly is one of the core elements, said Kåss at the Founding Conference of IRENA.

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Foreign Minister of Norway, Jonas Gahr Støre.Photo: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs