IRENA: Energy transition will see geopolitical “winners and losers”


The International Renewable Energy Agency has plotted the potentially dramatic impacts of a global transition to renewable energy from fossil fuels. Today’s A New World report notes the transition requires international cooperation to manage disruption, as it will leave behind countries and industries that fail to adapt.

At the start of its ninth annual general assembly in Abu Dhabi today, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) released a report on the geopolitical impacts of the global expansion of renewable energy. As a result of the declining importance of coal, oil and gas, IRENA has forecast major shifts in geopolitical power structures – the precise nature of which remains largely unknown, according to

Outgoing IRENA director-general Adnan Z Amin spelt out the danger to the international community if the transition is not well managed, and what is at stake for nations and industries that fail to adapt.

“Unless you have a response strategy to the changes you see around you, you are going to be in trouble,” said Amin, describing the shift as representing a major disruption to international economic and political structures. “Those countries that will be unable to do this, those industries that are not able to respond to the disruption we see coming, will end up with major problems.”

The report, A New World: The Geopolitics of the Energy Transformation, was compiled by an international panel of energy industry figures from governments, international organisations and industry. Contributions were made by a 12-person panel of commissioners, led by former Iceland president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson.


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