During its 7-year history, IRENA has invited the Cook Islands to their annual meetings every year for the past 5 years and this year” said Puna, we will continue to build on this mutually beneficial relationship with regard to Climate Change and its negative effects on Pacific Nations and the world globally”

I “I am looking forward to once again press the issue of climate change for the Pacific region” said Prime Minister Henry Puna, by accepting the invitation to attend the Ninth International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) Assembly in Abu Dhabi starting next Monday with Office of the Prime Minister Chief of Staff Mr Ben Ponia.

IRENA is the UN agency dealing with renewable energy policies and programmes with the annual Assembly representing the Agency’s supreme decision-making body bringing together Heads of State, Ministers, government officials, and representatives from the private sector, civil society and other international organisations to reaffirm the global renewable energy agenda and make concrete steps to accelerate the global transition to clean renewable energy.

The Cook Islands have previously assumed high level responsibilities at IRENA including chairing plenary sessions, delivering statements on the national renewable energy journey, participating on high-level panels, and reporting to the main Assembly on behalf of working groups and special side sessions.

The Director General, Adnan Amin, was in Rarotonga 5 years ago with the EU Energy Commissioner to announce the granting of EU 7million of funding for the conversion of the Southern Group to solar energy which is now near its completion stage.

“We are all familiar with the impacts of climate change on our islands and communities” said Puna, and like the coal mine canary, the threat to our very survival is a warning to the rest of the world on mankind’s future existence if business as usual continues unabated.”

“And like our traditional Polynesian navigation bird the Tavake, Puna stressed, we will continue to lead the way with regard to renewable energy and implementing that in our country and in our region”.