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Cablegate: South Africa Joins International Renewable Energy

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 281501Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY PRETORIA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1041
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
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RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 9881

UNCLAS PRETORIA 000185

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR OES/EGC - THOMPSON, AF/S - WALKE, EEB/ESC -
MONOSSON
DEPT PASS EPA/OIA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ENRG ETRD SENV SF KGHG
SUBJECT: SOUTH AFRICA JOINS INTERNATIONAL RENEWABLE ENERGY
AGENCY

REF: STATE 073217 (09)

1. (U) South Africa became an official member of the
International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on January 17,
2010. Elevating South Africa from observer country status,
President Jacob Zuma authorized Minister of Energy Dipuo
Peters to sign the statute enabling South Africa to
participate as a full member of IRENA. Minister Peters
attended the third session of the organization's preparatory
commission in Abu Dhabi on January 17, where IRENA's 2010
work program, staffing, rules and budget were discussed.

2. (U) On joining IRENA, Minister Peters said, "this is a
pioneering development that will enable us to work with other
countries to accelerate the introduction of renewable energy
and to confront our vexing energy challenges".

3. (U) Richard Worthington, Climate Change Program Manager
at the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) in South Africa
welcomed the announcement, but also expressed the view that
the South African government needed to do much more on
renewable energy.

4. (U) COMMENT: As described in reftel, the United States
became a signatory of IRENA on June 29, 2009. Renewable
energy is an area of great potential for U.S. - South Africa
bilateral cooperation and South Africa's decision to join
IRENA is a step in the right direction. END COMMENT.
GIPS

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