IRENA Director-General Lauds Pacific Island Nations’ Renewable Energy Aspirations

12 September 2011: Speaking at the Pacific Islands Forum, Adnan Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), underscored the potential for renewable energy to create prosperity.

Amin spoke about the profound importance that advances in renewable energy will bring to human life. He indicated that IRENA's work concentrates on three areas: knowledge management and technology cooperation; policy advice and capacity building; and innovation and technology. He explained that IRENA's work is “based on the understanding that, with the right policies in place, the current transformation in energy technologies, can be equitably spread to all regions of the world.”

Amin highlighted that IRENA's regional programme this year is focusing on Africa and the Pacific Island countries, and that due to the geography of the latter, renewable energies represent the least expensive and most reliable source of energy. With oil imports representing 10% of many island nations' gross national incomes, Amin lauded the plans of some islands to move to 100% renewables in the future, and singled out the Cook Islands, Tokelau and Tonga as examples to aspire to. He concluded by noting the central role that "clean, affordable and sustainable energy sources" can play in "safeguarding our planet and its climate for generations to come." The 42nd Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) took place in Auckland, New Zealand, from 7-8 September 2011. [IRENA Press Release] [SIDS Policy & Practice Story on the 42nd PIF]