International Organization to Push Renewable Energy

Seventy-five countries from around the world joined a new political agency dedicated to the acceleration of green energy this January, but several notable nations — including the U.S., Canada, Australia, UK, Japan, and China — were not among them.

The nations founded the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on Jan. 26 in Bonn, Germany. The agency, which started operations after 19 years of preparation, will provide "advice and support for both industrialised and developing countries for a rapid introduction of renewable energy," said IRENA initiator Hermann Scheer, president of the European Association for Renewable Energies (EUROSOLAR), in a speech during the founding conference. "IRENA will offer practical and concrete policy advice, accelerate technology transfer and facilitate access to effective financial mechanisms. The agency will support the know-how-transfer and help build capacity," he said.

IRENA was created as an institutional counterbalance to the International Atomic Energy Agency, a United Nations agency, and the International Energy Agency, which has 28 members.

According to the World Council of Renewable Energy, all member nations of the United Nations had been invited by the German government to the founding conference in Bonn. Among the 75 countries that signed the founding charter were Spain, Denmark, France, the Scandinavian countries, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, India, Chile, Columbia, Nigeria, and Kenya.