Convening its third assembly in Abu Dhabi, IRENA (the International Renewable Energy Agency) on Janunary 14 launched REMAP 2030, “a global roadmap to identify the policies and actions required to double the share of renewable energy (to 30 percent) by 2030,” IRENA announced in its Outreach online news magazine. The announcement came as renewable energy and development policy makers, practitioners and proponents from around the world gather for Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2013.
REMAP 2030 & sustainable energy for all
IRENA's assembling a global team of experts and policy makers in order to carry out the REMAP 2030 project, the broader aim of which is to help achieve the three primary goals set out in UN Secretary Genral Ban Ki-moon's Sustainable Energy for All initiative (SE4ALL):
1. Ensure universal access to modern energy services;
2. Double the rate of improvement in energy efficiency; and
3. Double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix
IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin presented some of the preliminary findings of the REMAP 2030 project while addressing the IRENA Assembly. Renewable energy sources will account for 21 percent of global energy production in 2030 if progress continues at its current pace, according to IRENA's calculations.
Bridging the gap to REMAP 2030's 30% target “presents a significant challenge that requires action at all levels and in different sectors," Adnan asserted, inviting governments to demonstrate their support by nominating expert national representatives to participate in the REMAP 2030 process.
Contrasting political views and potential trade-offs between economic development and fostering greater growth in renewable energy are apparent at IRENA's third assembly. India's representative raised concerns that IRENA's involvement with SEA4ALL amounts to a renegotiation of the agreement reached at Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development last summer, Outreach editor Amy Cutter reported.
Director-General addressed this issue earlier, during his presentation, pointed out that IRENA's involvement in SE4ALL “provides a collaborative platform to facilitate cooperation between different constituencies, rather than giving directives or binding goals,” according to Cutter's report. IRENA would be carrying out research such as REMAP 2030 whether or not SE4ALL existed, he added, while noting that the UN Secretary General's program “provides an organizing framework for stakeholders that the Agency (IRENA) can utilize to advance their mission.”
A driving force in IRENA's founding, Germany, in contrast reaffirmed its commitment to achieve SE4ALL's goals, stating that IRENA's involvement “was appropriate given their unique positioning and as SE4ALL was not a negotiated outcome of Rio+20 but a Secretary General initiative. Germany's representatives went on to say that the German government supports REMAP 2030 and intends to contribute the project by supplying both data and experts.
Image credit: International Rivers, courtesy flickr