New commission to examine geopolitics of energy transformation

Irena commission to analyse how energy transformation driven by renewables will impact foreign policies and geopolitics

Abu Dhabi: The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) launched the Global Commission on the Geopolitics of Energy Transformation, with the support of the governments of Germany, Norway and the UAE on Sunday.

The Commission will examine the immediate and longer-term geopolitical implications of global energy transformation driven by large scale of renewable energy in the context of global efforts to tackle climate change and advance sustainable development, said an Irena press release.

The Commission will be chaired by Olafur Grimsson, the former President of Iceland.

“The global energy landscape is witnessing rapid and disruptive change that will have far-reaching effects on geopolitical dynamics,” said Adnan Z. Ameen, Irena director-general.

“Renewable energy resources are abundant, sustainable and have the power to significantly improve energy access, security and independence. At the same time, the large-scale deployment of variable sources of renewable energy such as solar PV [photovoltaic] and wind, is fostering greater cross-border energy trade and cooperation between nations,” continued Ameen.

“Understanding these changing dynamics in a way that informs policymakers, will be the primary goal of the commission.”

Olafur Grimsson said: “The geopolitical implications of energy transformation is becoming one of the most debated issues in the global energy agenda. The Commission can make an important contribution to these global discussions, on the basis of solid evidence and analysis as well as a diverse range of perspectives.”

While most geopolitical analyses of energy related issues have focused on conventional fuels such as oil and gas, the Commission will review the implications of the ongoing global energy transformation underpinned by the surge in renewables and report on how it would impact the geopolitics of energy based on rigorous and credible evidence.

The Commission will have 12 leaders and experts on international energy and global security issues, with particular emphasis given to ensuring diverse geographical and expert background representation. The Commission will present its report at the 9th Session of the Irena Assembly in January 2019.


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