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IRENA and the U.N. Working Together


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The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the United Nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to advance host-country use of generated renewable energy for peacekeeping missions.

What is a Memorandum of Understanding?

A memorandum of understanding is a document that describes broad outlines of certain agreements that 2 or more parties have agreed on. A MoU isn’t a binding contract, but a promise of one. IRENA and the UN promised that they would work together to advance renewable energy use in host countries.

What is the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)?

IRENA is an intergovernmental organization that supports countries that are moving towards a future of sustainable energy. IRENA also serves as the principal platform for international cooperation and a repository of policy, technology, resources and financial knowledge on renewable energy.

What is IRENA’s goal?

The International Renewable Energy Agency’s goal is to promote the adoption of all forms of renewable energy. These include:

  • Bioenergy
  • Geothermal energy
  • Hydropower
  • Wave energy
  • Solar
  • Wind

IRENA has encouraged governments around the world to adopt policies for renewable energy and provides tools and advice to aid them towards implementing those polices.

What is the United Nations’ interest in renewable energy?

“Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential. Transitioning the global economy towards clean and sustainable sources of energy is one of our greatest challenges in the coming decades. Sustainable energy is an opportunity – it transforms lives, economies and the planet.”

The United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development back in 2015, which is a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity for the people and the Earth. The agenda is comprised of 17 Sustainable Development goals, where one is to provide energy that is clean, reliable, sustainable, and affordable for communities around the world.

What is the goal of the UN’s and IRENA’s Memorandum of Understanding?

The end goal of this partnership is that the UN wishes to decrease its carbon footprint. This will be done by seeking opportunities to work with countries that host UN peacekeeping operations that identify host country measures that would assist their share of renewable energy. IRENA also plans on assisting the UN in strengthening renewable energy power generation through encouraging investment in the private sector. These measures are intended to create opportunities for the UN to set up peacekeeping missions to source energy from host countries that are supplying renewable energy.

Our focus on raising awareness, improving performance and reducing our environmental footprint has prompted peacekeeping missions to implement more renewable energy projects. Several renewable energy projects are already underway in the field missions and we are keen to look for new and innovative ways to outsource renewable energy supply and to implement onsite renewable solutions. Partnerships will be very important in bringing our goals to fruition – and we look forward to working with IRENA to find innovative ways to increase the proportion of our energy from renewable sources.”

Atul Khare, Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support.

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Why is the UN starting renewable energy peacekeeping missions?

Many issues plague the world because of climate change.

As the main topic of concern at a UN Security Council meeting last July, the issues of climate change have yet to be fixed. From complications such as resource competition, exacerbation of mass conflicts, and how millions of people are threatened to leave their homes, it’s important that people come together to address these problems.

Because of how the planet has been treated in years past, it’s important that the U.N. ramp up their peacekeeping efforts to establish more hubs of renewable energy in affected countries.

You can read more information about the UN, IRENA, and plans to help address climate change throughout the world here:

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