January 11th, 2019 by Joshua S Hill
In what seems like news that has come a decade late, the International Renewable Energy Agency announced on Wednesday that Canada has finally become a member, becoming the Agency’s 160th member.
According to its website, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) “is an intergovernmental organisation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future, and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence, and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.” First proposed back in 1981 at the United Nations Conference on New and Renewable Sources of Energy, held in Nairobi, Kenya, it took until 2009 to found the organization and its statute was entered into force in July of 2010.
A total of 159 member countries beat Canada to joining IRENA including such pearls of democratic action as Afghanistan, Iraq, Turkey, and the Russian Federation.
But better later than never, and Canada’s admittance came on the eve of IRENA’s ninth and its largest Assembly where more than 120 ministers from around the world are expected to join 1,200 delegates from 150 countries in Abu Dhabi to discuss developing the deployment of sustainable sources of energy.
“We are delighted to welcome Canada as a new member of the IRENA family,” said IRENA Director-General, Adnan Z. Amin. “Canada has vast renewable energy resource potential and long-standing experience in low-carbon development that it can share through international cooperation.
“We look forward to working with the Canadian government as well as the private sector and research institutions to advance energy transformation. Canada’s membership firmly underscores the leadership it can demonstrate in renewable energy technology, sustainable development and global energy decarbonisation.”
“The growing green economy is among the greatest economic opportunities for Canada in a generation,” added Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. “Becoming an IRENA member will accelerate Canada’s efforts to build a clean energy future which will bring new economic growth and thousands of new, well-paying jobs.”
“We are supporting a clean growth economy that will help reduce emissions and generate well-paying jobs for middle class Canadians and future generations,” said Vanessa Adams, Press Secretary for Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, who spoke to me via email.
“We are serious about moving to a clean future by taking action on climate change and investing in clean growth.
“For a decade, the Conservatives had the chance to protect the environment and grow the economy, and they didn’t take it. Just because they couldn’t do either, doesn’t mean we can’t do both.
“We’ve made real progress by joining IRENA, an organization that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future. As a member, Canada will continue to actively promote its expertise and leadership in renewable energy and accelerate its efforts to build a clean energy future that will bring new economic growth and thousands of new, well-paying jobs.
“Canadians expect their government to create a sustainable Canada that will be here for our kids and our grandkids, while also growing our economy. That’s exactly what we are doing and what we will continue to do.”
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