Green energy agency set to gain members

 @ibtimes on January 13 2010 6:04 PM

ABU DHABI - The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) expects new members to join at its next meeting while China and world top oil exporter Saudi Arabia are to attend as observers, its head said on Wednesday.

IRENA was established last year to promote the development of the renewable energy industry worldwide. To date, 139 nations have joined the global organization which is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Several non-member nations are coming for the ... meeting next week, including Mexico, Belgium, Kyrgyzstan who may be future signatories, Helene Pelosse, IRENA's interim director-general, told reporters.

China and Saudi Arabia would attend as observers, she added.

The United States joined IRENA last year as part of efforts by the administration of President Barack Obama to develop a new energy policy.

China's top envoy to the Copenhagen climate talks said earlier this month that Chinese negotiators had achieved their goal at the summit in ensuring financial aid for developing nations was not linked to external reviews of China's environmental plans.

Britain, Sweden and other countries have accused China of obstructing the climate summit, which ended last month with a non-binding accord that set a target of limiting global warming to a maximum 2 degrees Celsius but was scant on details.

IRENA, which seeks about a three-fold increase in consumption of green energy by 2050, has launched its first renewable energy project in the Pacific island nation of Tonga, Pelosse said.

(Reporting by Stanley Carvalho; editing by Firouz Sedarat)

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