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Source: Small Island Developing States

18 June 2019: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) announced a partnership to accelerate the transition to low-carbon energy and help achieve sustainable development.

IRENA and UNDP will explore joint initiatives to help implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, its SDGs and the Paris Agreement on climate change by increasing renewable energy investments in developing countries, among other activities. The partnership will bring together IRENA’s technical expertise and renewable energy data repository, and UNDP’s climate change portfolio and development and project implementation network.

According to a recent IRENA report, renewables have become one of the cheapest sources of new power generation, due to falling renewable energy costs, and the number of jobs in the sector continues to grow.

The partnership’s Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on 17 June 2019, by UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner and IRENA Director-General Francesco La Camera, who said the partnership will enable the exploration and development of pathways to advance energy access, accelerate the low-carbon energy transition and promote sustainable growth.

Africa and Southeast Asia are priority regions for meeting the increasing energy demand with renewables instead of coal.

During a meeting with UN Secretary-General António Guterres on 18 June, La Camera indicated his intention to increase IRENA’s cooperation with UN organizations. Guterres suggested that IRENA could help strengthen UN Energy, the UN’s mechanism for inter-agency collaboration on energy, which was established in 2004 as a subsidiary of the UN System Chief Executives Board (CEB).

Guterres and La Camera underlined the need to phase out construction of new coal plants, and La Camera noted IRENA’s efforts to help countries develop policies that minimize disruption while accelerating their transition from coal to renewables. In this area of work, Africa and Southeast Asia are priority regions for meeting increasing energy demand with renewables instead of coal. [UNEP News Story] [IRENA News Story]

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