Canada, Russia and Brazil only major nations not to sign.
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates—China has announced it will join the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), an intergovernmental organization hoping to double the share of renewable energy used worldwide by 2030.
The joining of China, a massive consumer of energy, marks a major step toward universal membership for the agency, which currently has 160 participating states.
Canada is the only country in the hemisphere that has not joined, though the agency counts among its signatories economic heavyweights such as Vanuatu, Uruguay and Kyrgyzstan.
“China looks forward to becoming a full member of IRENA soon, as well as working alongside all countries for greater achievements in global renewable energy development,” said Liu Qi, Vice-Minister of the National Energy Administration of China, at IRENA’s third annual assembly in Abu Dhabi.
China is the world’s largest energy producer, with total installed electrical power generation capacity of 1140 GW, and is increasingly turning to renewable energy to power its fast-growing economy.
The world’s most important economy has installed capacity of 249 GW of hydro and 63 GW of wind, and is adding more hydro and wind capacity annually than any other country.
China’s installed generating capacity of solar PV power has reached 7 GW, a tenfold increase over two years. China is also a manufacturing powerhouse for solar PV, wind and hydro power technology.
“The decision by China to join IRENA is a milestone in international efforts to promote renewable energy,” said IRENA’s Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “I am delighted with the confidence China has shown in IRENA and I look forward to their active participation in the global effort for a clean energy future for all.”
IRENA is mandated by 159 countries and the European Union to promote the sustainable use of all forms of renewable energy, and to serve as the global hub for renewable energy cooperation and information exchange.