United Arab Emirates Wins International Renewable Energy Agency Headquarters



    Abu Dhabi's Masdar City, the world's first carbon-neutral, zero-waste
city, to house IRENA's headquarters

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Abu
Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, has been selected to house the
secretariat of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), marking the
first time an international organization has chosen a Middle East city for its
headquarters. IRENA will be located in Abu Dhabi's Masdar City, the world's
first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city powered entirely by renewable energy.

    In securing the location for IRENA the UAE faced stiff competition from
Germany, Austria and Denmark, all recognized leaders in renewable energy.
Since the establishment of IRENA in January, the candidate nations have been
locked in a hard-fought competition. However, the UAE's ability to serve as a
bridge between the developing and developed world; the allure of the world's
first carbon neutral city; and a generous commitment of financial and
political support won over a significant following among member states of the
new organisation.

    "This is a great achievement for the United Arab Emirates, but more
importantly it is a testament to the strength of the relationships we have
established throughout our campaign. It was very important for us to offer
IRENA a value proposition that would help the agency achieve its goals by
engaging with developing and developed nations alike," said His Highness
Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United
Arab Emirates.  "The UAE is committed to working with each of the member
countries and meeting the immediate needs of IRENA to ensure its successful
launch," added the Foreign Minister.

    The UAE's bid for IRENA's headquarters is the first time the country has
engaged in such an ambitious endeavor on the international stage. "This has
been a tremendous educational experience, and has strengthened bonds with our
IRENA co-members that will allow us to collectively advance the benefits of
renewable energy on all continents," said Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Chief Executive
Officer of Masdar and a key architect of the UAE's bid. He added that the
efforts by the UAE to encourage non-signatory nations to join IRENA not only
strengthened the UAE bid but also strengthened the organization itself, which
grew from 75 member states at the time of its foundation in January to over
130 countries to date.

    As part of its commitment to IRENA, the UAE offered to support the agency
with a grant of $136 million over a six year period, while also covering all
operational costs in perpetuity. Moreover, the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development
created a special endowment of up to US $50 million annually to be used for
loans in support of renewable energy projects in the developing world.

    The UAE bid attracted wide spread international support by key figures,
including Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, Tony Blair,
former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Dr. Rajendra K Pachauri, Nobel
laureate and Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPPC).
    

    About Masdar City
    
    Masdar City is the most ambitious sustainable development in the world
today -- it will be the world's first zero carbon, zero waste city powered
entirely by renewable energy sources. Masdar City is part of Abu Dhabi's
Masdar Initiative, a multi-faceted investment in the development and
commercialization of innovative technologies in renewable and sustainable
energies as well as sustainable design.
    

    About the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)
    
    IRENA was founded in January 2009 and includes 77 member countries from
both the developing and developed world. IRENA aims at becoming the main
driving force in promoting a rapid transition towards the widespread and
sustainable use of renewable energy on a global scale. Acting as the global
voice for renewable energies, IRENA will provide practical advice and support
for both industrialised and developing countries, help them improve their
regulatory frameworks and build capacity. The agency will facilitate access to
all relevant information including reliable data on the potential of renewable
energy, best practices, effective financial mechanisms and state-of-the-art
technological expertise.
    



    United Arab Emirates
    




For further information:

For further information: Amanda Belcher, +1-202-326-1724, for the United
Arab Emirates

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