An Antiguan and Barbudan delegation headed by Prime Minister Gaston Browne gathered with government officials from over 150 countries, and representatives from the private sector, civil society and other international organisations at the 7th Assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in the United Arab Emirates today.
The Assembly will focus on the critical role of renewable energy in combating climate change, expanding energy access and meeting global sustainable development goals and today’s session involved preliminary meetings and discussions on the topic.
On January 14th Prime Minister Browne will sign a 15 million USD soft loan agreement with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) in partnership with IRENA for the development of a 4 MW plant to address the water sector and essential services. Minister of Health and Environment, the Honourable Molwyn Joseph who played an integral role in the negotiations for the loan agreement deferred his responsibilities at the Abu Dhabi conference to Prime Minister Gaston Browne after being unable to attend because of matters at the Mount St. John’s Medical Centre.
While in Abu Dhabi, Prime Minister Browne will also hold bilateral meetings with senior officials within the government of the UAE, to seek to finalize and sign a double taxation agreement between the UAE and Antigua and Barbuda.
Minister Responsible for Energy, the Honourable Asot A. Michael who is also in Abu Dhabi, will hold bilateral meetings with a number of his counterparts such India, and Germany regarding opportunities to pursue and maximize Renewal Energy Development in Antigua.
The Antigua and Barbuda delegation will also participate in meetings of the IRENA General Assembly, SIDS Lighthouse Initiative Power Sector: Transformation in SIDS, UAE Pacific and Caribbean Renewable Energy Partnership and the World Future Energy Summit.
The delegation also includes Ambassador Conrod Hunte, Ambassador and Permanent Representative to IRENA, Ambassador, Brian Challenger, Chairman of the National Energy Working Group and Mr. Tumasie Blair, Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Antigua and Barbuda to the United Nations;
The delegation’s trip to the meetings in Abu Dhabi is being funded by IRENA and the Government of the UAE.