1st Celebration of the International Day on Clean Energy at the United Nations

Building a Sustainable Future: Renewables for Climate Action and Sustainable Development

The General Assembly, in its resolution 77/327, has decided to proclaim 26 January – the anniversary day of the founding of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) in 2009 – as the International Day on Clean Energy.

The 28th Conference of Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (COP28) that concluded in December in Dubai provided a unique opportunity to take stock of the global solutions for limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees and to advance a positive, action-orientated energy agenda, placing accelerated energy transitions at the centre of the climate discourse. The first commemoration of this International Day happened just weeks after countries reached an unprecedented agreement at COP 28, in the context of the UAE Consensus, to transition away from fossil fuels. Among others, at COP28, countries agreed to tripling renewable energy capacity globally and doubling the global average annual rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. This comes as a result of the efforts of the COP28 Presidency, IRENA and the Global Renewables Alliance to build support of a global pledge and is in line with the recommendations of IRENA's World Energy Transitions Outlook as the most realistic course-correction to align with Paris Agreement goals.

IRENA celebrated the Day by organising a virtual panel discussion together with the Permanent Mission of the United Arab Emirates to the UN and the Permanent Mission of Panama to the UN. This event served to increase awareness of the role of clean energy in expanding universal access to energy and to promote global initiatives aimed towards achieving the goals set out in the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda. The event showcased examples of clean energy projects and their transformative impacts on lives and livelihoods in various countries and communities from different regions. It also offered an overview of the negotiated outcomes achieved at COP28 in relation to the promotion of clean energy as well as other initiatives launched.