UN and IRENA sign climate change and energy transition deal


The United Nations (UN) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will be ramping up efforts to fight climate change to promote the transition to renewable energy.

The heads of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and IRENA have agreed to increase knowledge-sharing regarding the clean energy transition by working together more closely at expert meetings.

The two bodies will also joint-outreach activities on renewable energy and the energy transition.

The agreement seeks to build on the existing relationship between IRENA and the UN, and their shared aim of achieving the Sustainable Development and Paris agreement goals.

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UNFCCC executive secretary Patricia Espinosa said: “The rapid transition to clean energy is crucial to meet the central goal of the Paris climate change agreement, which is to hold the global average temperature rise to as close as possible to 1.5°C.

“Time is running out – we are already seeing worsening climate change impacts around the world – including unprecedented heatwaves, floods and wildfires – and we need to grasp all opportunities to rapidly deploy clean, renewable energy at scale to prevent the worst climate scenarios from becoming a reality.”

IRENA director-general Francesco La Camera added: “Falling technology costs have made solar, wind and other renewables the competitive backbone of energy decarbonisation and, together with energy efficiency, the most effective climate action tool available.

“Renewable energy delivers jobs, delivers on sustainable development and will deliver a viable climate solution. Renewables-based energy transition provides a clear opportunity to increase ambition in the reviewing process of the national climate commitments under the Paris Agreement. IRENA will fully support countries in realizing this opportunity on the way to COP25 in Chile this year and to COP26 in 2020.”