Assistant Secretary Pyatt: Thank you, Your Excellency, and thank you to Director General La Camera, for taking on a second term of leadership. We look forward to working with you closely in shaping a dynamic role for IRENA.
When we founded this organization together, the wide-scale adoption of renewables could not be taken for granted. Yet now, IRENA reports that renewables comprise more than 80 percent of the expansion in global power capacity.
There is not a lot of certainty in today’s world, but I’m sure of two things: one, that the energy transition is happening. And two, it is not happening fast enough.
This means that IRENA must intensify its efforts toward accelerating the energy transition – especially in emerging markets and Least Developed Countries – and to do this, its strategy must be flexible.
In the run up to COP28, here in the UAE, the United States expects IRENA to play a central coordinating role in this implementation COP.
The United States urges all Member States to raise their ambitions for COP 28. And, during this preparatory phase, we encourage IRENA to deliver an unrelenting message of urgency.
This weekend, our business will include adopting a medium-term strategy for IRENA that the United States strongly supports.
But, we also look forward to ongoing discussions with interested Member States and the DG to ensure that IRENA is a dominant force in accelerating the global energy transition.
Critics may say that we are pushing transition too fast. But on the contrary, the sooner the energy transition succeeds, the sooner it will unleash unprecedented energy security – and economic opportunity – across the globe.
We can have both the energy transition and energy security at once. Many of our Member States are responding to immediate needs in Europe and around the world – stemming from Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. At the same time, we are working towards a long-term future of energy security and universal energy access.
Our future will be powered by abundant clean and renewable energy technologies – and we will no longer depend upon unreliable suppliers like the Russian federation.
Russia’s weaponization of energy reinforces the need to accelerate the energy transition and enact more ambitious policies to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
The United States will remain steadfast in our support for Europe during this energy crisis. We will help to rebuild Ukraine. To include a greener and more sustainable energy grid fully integrated with Europe. And we will continue to facilitate investment that improves energy access where it is needed most, such as Sub-Saharan Africa.
President Biden announced at the Africa Leaders Summit in December of last year that the United States is “all in on Africa.” The United States International Development Finance Corporation will invest nearly $370 million into new projects, including $100 million to expand reliable and affordable clean energy access for millions of people in Sub-Saharan Africa.
In addition, over the next decade, the United States Inflation Reduction Act will surge $369 billion toward investments in clean energy technologies, providing incentives for much more from the private sector.
The rapid expansion of clean energy manufacturing and deployment will introduce new innovations into global supply chains and contribute to lower energy costs around the world, including in developing and emerging economies.
Supply chain bottlenecks continue to cause difficulties. The United States is working closely with trusted partners, though the Minerals Security Partnership, IRENA, and others, to support global clean energy supply chains that are transparent, resilient, and secure.
Despite significant challenges, IRENA’s mandate to promote clean energy remains more relevant than ever, and the United States looks forward to discussing ways to accelerate this transition. Thank you very much.