Submitted by Diane Farsetta on
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) officially launched on July 1, with 108 member countries. IRENA is meant "to make renewable energy more accessible to every country in the world. ... But supporters worry that IRENA could be undermined by countries that are trying to promote nuclear power as a solution to climate change and dwindling oil reserves." At IRENA's inaugural conference, the France - United Arab Emirates alliance favoring nuclear power appears to have prevailed. Abu Dhabi was chosen as the site for IRENA's headquarters, and French official Helene Pelosse was named IRENA's director general. France, a major exporter of nuclear power technology and expertise, advocates for "low-carbon technology" that many interpret to include nuclear power, along with solar, wind and other forms of renewable energy. Former World Bank energy officer Dr. Eric Martinot asked, "Are the original goals of IRENA being co-opted so that renewables get pushed aside by a nuclear agenda?" In an interview, Pelosse said no. "The idea that IRENA would be tainted by nuclear interests is simply wrong," she told the Worldwatch Institute. "There already is an international organization in charge of nuclear energy."