Announced back in November, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has had its first conference in Bonn, Germany. Though 75 nations have officially become members of the organization, perhaps most notable are those who haven't joined -- Some of the world's highest emitters of carbon emissions:US, China, Others Remain Observers
Though maintaining observer status, the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, China and Australia all have not become signatories to the IRENA. The UK has said that is supportive of the organization, but seems worried that the organization will be focused more on "talking policy and issuing papers" than on actually deploying more renewable energy. (Worldwatch) Germany has also requested that the United States play a greater role, but based on slightly terse states my the State Department --"We will continue to examine and review all available mechanisms to promote renewable energy"--that doesn't look likely.
In case anyone forgot, China is by most counts the world's largest greenhouse gas emitter; the US is in second place; Japan and the UK are in the top eight; and Australia, while only in the top 20 in total emissions, is right at the head of the pack in terms of per capita emissions.
Potential For Dilly-Dallying Not a Reason To Sit on the Sidelines
While not dismissing concerns about IRENA potentially turning out more papers than facilitating actual renewable energy installation, that potential is inherent in any organization of this type and is hardly a good excuse for not formally participating.
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