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IRENA director-general Francesco La Camera speaking during the meeting hosted to discuss IRENA Council meeting in Abu Dhabi Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi: Looking for growth and economic stability based on renewable energy, over 340 representatives from 97 countries will participate in the 19th and 20th Council of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) taking place on November 3 and 4 in Abu Dhabi.

Discussion will focus on policies and investments that support an accelerated move towards a low-carbon energy system. Burkina Faso Energy Minister Bachir Ismael Ouedraogo will serve as Chair for the two-day governing body meetings will take place virtually due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

IRENA director-general Francesco La Camera said. “With many economies going back into lockdown measures to address COVID-19, we must all be aware of the opportunity for growth and stability presented by a renewables based energy transformation — a point that will be central to discussions among members this week.

“Through clear, far-sighted policy measures built around energy transformation and a strong commitment to multilateral collaboration, we can quickly rebuild our economies while ensuring a lasting economic recovery that aligns with the sustainable development goals and the objectives of the Paris Agreement,” noted La Camera.

The IRENA Council is composed of 21 members elected for a two-year term and serve on a rotating basis. The Council’s responsibilities include facilitating consultation and cooperation among IRENA Members and reviewing the organisation work programme, budget and annual report.

IRENA noted “an investment package focused on the energy transition can help to overcome the economic slump and create much-needed jobs, for the short-term and beyond.”

Call for global shift to clean energy

Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said the pandemic has highlighted the need for global shift to green energy. He added: “The coronavirus outbreak has highlighted the vital importance of energy as the key to staying connected to power healthcare facilities, and ensure an uninterrupted food and water production and supply. Therefore, it is more crucial than ever that we join forces in advancing a green and sustainable recovery, building resilience, and driving a global clean energy transition to provide fair energy access for all.”

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Dr Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment

Green hydrogen

During Press briefing on Monday, Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, the UAE’s permanent representative IRENA, said the country is open to all renewable energy sources, including the so-called green hydrogen.

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Many experts say hydrogen can be a tradable energy in the future. Several projects around the world are being developed to scale up production of hydrogen for domestic consumption, transportation, or for injection in the gas system. The generation of energy from hydrogen is done through a chemical process known as electrolysis, which uses an electrical current to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in water. The energy produced does not emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.