China announced Sunday that it aims at becoming a full member of International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2013, a move which was widely welcomed.
Currently, China has an observer status at the 148-member IRENA, which was founded in 2009 and headquartered in Abu Dhabi. The IRENA strives to increase the share of renewable energy like wind energy, solar energy, water power or energy from bio-garbage and geothermal sources by increasing the cooperation and knowledge between the member states.
Speaking at the sidelines of the third annual session of IRENA, Shi Lishan, the deputy director general of the National Energy Administration in China and a member of the Chinese delegation, said that his country is looking forward to becoming a member of the UN-related agency to promote its knowledge in renewable energy to the international community.
Shi said that China was investing on a large scale in renewable energy and was able to promote solar, wind and bio-energy.
For his part, director-general of IRENA, Adnan Z. Amin said that Beijing’s announcement to join IRENA was “fantastic and most encouraging.”
Amin believed that this was the best news of the assembly’s first day, “because IRENA can achieve its goals better and faster if all nations sit at one table.”
The Gulf Arab states welcomed the initiative of the Chinese delegation, hoping to intensify their cooperation with Beijing.
“China is the largest country of the world by population, so of course it is important for the East-Asian country to work within IRENA,” said Ahmed, Al-Sadhan, the advisor for international affairs and member of the Saudi Arabian delegation.
China is promoting renewable energy investments to reduce energy consumption. According to data compiled by IRENA, China’s financial investments in renewable energy hit 58 percent of the combined share of the developing countries.
China invested up to $52.2 billion in renewable energy in 2011, representing a 17 percent year-on-year increase.