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Brussels, 23 November 2009

Commission and Swedish Presidency sign EU's accession to the International Renewable Energy Agency

Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and the Swedish Secretary of State Ola Alterå have signed today in Berlin the Statute of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). By their signing the European Union has become the 138th Member of this new organisation that aims at speeding up the use of renewable energy sources in the world. It is the first time that inter-governmental organisation joints this organisation.

Commissioner Piebalgs: "By joining IRENA the European Union has shown that the promotion of renewable energy sources worldwide is a key element of our external energy policy. With less then a month before Copenhagen, this again underlines that the EU collectively supports a shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable technologies. Making this shift today rather then later benefits us in terms of the climate, security of supply and also the economy. "

IRENA is intended to become a global agency dealing exclusively with renewable energies such as solar, wind or biomass. The objective is to create a centre of excellence for renewable energy, advising governments on drawing up national programmes for the introduction of these sources, dissemination of information about renewable technologies and implement training activities and advice on best practice and financing options.

IRENA was established on 26 January this year and has picked up momentum in a rapid pace. Today, the EU has joined the 137 member countries, including the US, India and almost all European and African countries.

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