IRENA chief: Renewable energy is ‘defence policy of the future’

(EurActiv, 20 Feb 2019) Renewable energy will rewrite the geopolitical map, according to the man tasked with taking clean energy global. Adnan Z. Amin also told EURACTIV that any politicians not worried by the “truly frightening” risks of climate change are not in the right job.

Energy sources like wind and solar power keep going from strength to strength as costs fall, climate action becomes mainstream and legislation takes effect.

The EU recently signed off on a new law that sets a 32% renewable energy target for 2030, as the bloc chases 40% greenhouse emissions cuts by the end of the next decade and looks to make good on its pledges under the global Paris Agreement.

As part of those renewables law negotiations, the European Commission engaged the services of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to find out how feasible a target in excess of the EU executive’s original 27% suggestion could be.

Director-General Adnan Z. Amin is of the opinion that IRENA’s contribution made a “huge impact on the discussion”, after his services concluded that 34% was possible. Particularly since the Abu Dhabi-based agency is independent and has no commercial interests.

During an interview in Brussels with EURACTIV, Amin stressed that renewable energy’s reach extends far beyond just powering our vehicles and lighting our homes, explaining that turbines and photovoltaic panels are on the verge of changing geopolitics forever.

According to a recent IRENA report, clean energy will reshape political alliances, shift trade patterns, reduce the risk of oil and gas-fuelled conflicts and decrease the influence of fossil fuel exporters on the world stage if they do not adapt.

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EurActiv, 20 Feb 2019: IRENA chief: Renewable energy is ‘defence policy of the future’