Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for the opportunity to address this gathering of distinguished representatives from around the world.
Let me begin by congratulating all of the member states on their hard work and contributions towards making IRENA a successful international organization. A particular thanks is reserved for the IRENA Secretariat for its work over the past year in moving this organization in a positive direction, and in ensuring a successful Preparatory Commission meeting. I would also like to take a moment to recognize and thank the Government of the United Arab Emirates for hosting IRENA and generously providing facilities for this and other meetings in Abu Dhabi. On a more somber note, I would like to join others in paying tribute to our dear colleague Dr. Hermann Scheer, IRENA’s founding father and a renewable energy visionary. His death is a loss for Germany, but much more broadly, it is a loss for the entire world.
I would like to emphasize, in strongest possible terms, the continued U.S. commitment to IRENA. The United States believes in the mission of IRENA: to enhance energy security, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, address energy poverty, support sustainable development, and ultimately boost economic growth in both the developed and developing worlds. IRENA is well-suited to become the preeminent vehicle to promote the widespread adoption of renewable energy through government-to-government cooperation and collaboration. The United States believes that IRENA can and should continue to emphasize efficiency and transparency in every aspect of its launch and governance. We look forward to it becoming the dynamic, flexible, and innovative organization it should be and needs to be.
Much of the world has come to understand that human-induced climate change has the potential to radically alter the planet. The United States, along with other nations, has taken steps to address these pressing climate concerns. We firmly believe that the increased adoption of renewable energy technologies constitutes a crucial piece that will ultimately solve the climate change challenge, while serving as the catalyst for job creation and sound economic growth.
The United States believes that, in order to ensure robust and timely dissemination of renewable energy, the free market – guided by the appropriate policy and regulatory structures – be allowed to determine which technologies will thrive.
It is precisely in this area that IRENA can do the most good. As governments experiment with and implement various policies meant to promote the sustainable use of renewable energy, IRENA can serve as an important international forum for the exchange of ideas and collaboration of best practices. It is through this high-level interaction that renewables will enable the sustainable growth of economies around the world in the 21st century.
IRENA has certainly faced its fair share of challenges over the past year, but the United States remains confident that the organization and its member states will not falter in ensuring that IRENA becomes the effective vehicle for change and growth that we all believe it can be. Let us join together and pronounce 2011 the year to demonstrate to the world the commitment and potential that IRENA has to offer.
Again, thank you Mr. Chairman and thank you to all the other member countries who have worked tirelessly over the past many months, on the various issues central to the future success of IRENA. Your dedication and commitment is the principal reason why we remain so optimistic about the future of IRENA.