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15 June 2021

United Nations, International Renewable Energy Agency Agree to Advance Green, Host Country-Generated Solutions in Peacekeeping Operations

NEW YORK/ABU DHABI, 15 June (Department of Operational Support) — The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the United Nations signed a Memorandum of Understanding today to advance the use of host country-generated renewable energy in peacekeeping missions.

Under the agreement, IRENA and the United Nations will seek opportunities to work with countries that host the latter’s peacekeeping operations to identify host country policy, regulatory and technical measures that would help increase their renewable energy share.  In addition, IRENA will assist the United Nations in strengthening renewable power generation in these areas, by encouraging private sector investment.

These steps are intended to create opportunities for peacekeeping missions to source energy from host country-generated renewables in locations where this is possible.  Such an approach has the potential to decrease the United Nations environmental footprint, with the secondary benefit of helping to anchor emerging host country capacity in renewable energy generation during crucial times of transition.

“The provision of affordable and reliable energy is a fundamental building block of inclusive development,” said Francesco La Camera, Director-General of IRENA.  “While an energy system underpinned by renewables is key to decarbonizing our world in line with climate goals, the abundance of renewables empowers Governments and citizens, bringing them energy security, economic opportunity and social equity.  Under this agreement, our two organizations will seek to make this future a reality in host countries as they rebuild.”

Atul Khare, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Operational Support, agreed.  “The Secretary-General’s Action for Peacekeeping (A4P) initiative includes a commitment to support environmentally responsible solutions.  In support of this, our six-year (2017-2023) environment strategy is transforming our operations in peacekeeping missions.”

He added:  “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 under way in field missions, and we are keen to look for new and innovative ways to outsource renewable energy supply and to implement on-site 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.”

Renewable energy solutions are increasingly the most economically attractive form of new power generation in many countries.  They offer nations clear socioeconomic benefits in terms of net-positive economic growth, job creation and energy access, contributing to the achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals.  From the perspective of peacekeeping, reliance on diesel-power generation also presents a daily logistical and security challenge, which makes the need for transition compelling.

In addition, renewable technologies support energy security and promote greater levels of energy independence by harnessing the vast renewable energy potential that exists in one form or another, all over the world.

About the International Renewable Energy Agency

IRENA is the lead intergovernmental agency for the global energy transformation that supports countries in their transition to a sustainable energy future and serves as the principal platform for international cooperation, a centre of excellence and a repository of policy, technology, resource and financial knowledge on renewable energy.  With 164 members (163 States and the European Union) and 20 additional countries in the accession process and actively engaged, IRENA promotes the widespread adoption and sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy in the pursuit of sustainable development, energy access, energy security and low-carbon economic growth and prosperity.

For information, contact Damian Brandy, Communications Officer, IRENA, email:  dbrandy@irena.org; tel.:  +971 2 417 9016.

Stay in touch with IRENA at www.twitter.com/irena, www.facebook.com/irena.org and www.linkedin.com/company/irena.

About the Department of Operational Support

The Department of Operational Support is a global service provider that supports the United Nations Secretariat in advisory, operational and transactional areas.  This includes, but is not limited to, human resources, medical care, supply chain management, UNHQ administrative services and campus support, information and communications technology and environmental sustainability.

For information, contact Gina Vivona, Communications, Department of Operational Support, email:  vivona@un.org; tel.:  +1 917 340 9735.

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For information media. Not an official record.