Press release, Madrid/Bonn, October 25, 2008
Successful conclusion of the Final Preparatory Conference on the Foundation of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in Madrid
At the Final Preparatory Conference for the establishment of IRENA on October 23 and 24 in Madrid, 51 states reached a broad agreement on the statute of the international governmental agency. "The path is now cleared for the Founding Conference of IRENA on January 26, 2009 in Bonn", announced Hermann Scheer, member of the German parliament. Hermann Scheer, as president of EUROSOLAR and General Chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE), has been advocating the establishment of IRENA both in Germany and at the international level since early 1990.
The German federal government will forward the agreed upon documents to all states that are members of the United Nations, and will invite all interested countries to sign the statute of the agency at the Founding Conference, Scheer informed. "Consultations with governments worldwide and three international conferences this year have clearly demonstrated the need for IRENA. I am confident that around 50 states worldwide aspire to become founding members of the agency", Scheer said. "Mandated by governments all over the world, IRENA aims to become the main driving force in promoting a swift transition towards the extensive and sustainable use of renewable energy worldwide." The agency will provide concrete advice and support for both industrialised and developing countries, help them improve their regulatory frameworks and build capacity.
Scheer concludes by explaining that "after IRENA’s foundation in January 2009, the agency will start its activities in the middle of next year. The foundation of IRENA is overdue. It has been realised by now that the global energy supply must be switched from conventional to renewable energies. However, only a few countries worldwide are prepared for this politically and economically. They have to catch up very fast now. The disproportion has been existing for years that there exist international agencies for fossil and nuclear energies, but none for renewables. IRENA will close this gap."