June 2009 by the Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy, June 2009
Declaration on the formation of IRENA

We, as long-term supporters of renewable energy and representatives of prominent organisations working in this field bring the following letter to the attention of the delegates from IRENA signatory countries, by paying full respect to all the delegate’s forthcoming decisions at the second meeting of the Preparatory Commission in Egypt on June 29 and 30 2009.

We recommend that Dr. Hermann Scheer be appointed Founding Chair for the formation period of IRENA to directly support the Director General. It must be acknowledged that the breakthrough represented by the establishment of IRENA can be in great part credited to the work of Dr. Hermann Scheer. Together with the two non-profit international organisations under his leadership, EUROSOLAR and World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE), he has struggled for two decades to achieve the founding of IRENA. Dr. Scheer pioneered the concept that shapes IRENA today. Numerous obstacles on the long way to IRENA have been overcome through his outstanding international leadership for the advancement of renewable energies. He first lobbied for the idea to establish an IRENA on many international conferences and succeeded in initiating the decisions that were crucial to obtain the support of Germany for launching IRENA at the government level. All these facts clearly indicate that IRENA is connected inextricably with Dr. Scheer’s vision and work.

Furthermore, through his seminal books on renewable energy strategies, his ability to empower people and to form strong alliances, and as a successful legislator for renewable energy policies in his native country he has inspired a generation of decision makers, politicians, parliaments, and organisations, as well as concerned individuals, about the imperative necessity of implementing a new energy paradigm for the service of humankind.

The German government refrained from nominating Dr. Scheer for the post of IRENA’s Director General because it decided to concentrate all of its efforts to ensure that Bonn becomes the headquarters of IRENA. This decision happened with the consent of Hermann Scheer who supported Bonn as seat for IRENA from the early beginning. The broad acceptance of IRENA proves that the agency is directly linked to a worldwide hope to overcome the inherent dangers and shortcomings associated with the use of nuclear power and fossil fuels. Renewable energies offer unique opportunities to achieve a secure and independent energy supply that does not harm the environment, the climate and human health. Only renewable sources can reliably satisfy the increasing energy demand of a growing world population and their energy needs. Achieving the full potential of renewable sources swiftly and comprehensively is the central challenge of the 21st century and represents a unique chance for humanity to thrive and prosper. Therefore, we consider the formation of IRENA unthinkable without Dr. Scheer’s essential contributions and firmly believe that he should be directly involved in the early leadership of IRENA to help ensure its success.

IRENA must act as a straightforward international advocate for renewable energy. As an international governmental organisation, IRENA has the opportunity and responsibility to champion the use of renewable sources everywhere, without interference into the legislative competence of governments. IRENA must inspire the adoption of effective policies and best-practice solutions that accelerate and reinforce the rapid introduction of all renewable energy options. IRENA must proactively commit governments and the public to become aware of the advantages of adopting a new and sustainable energy future for all nations, with special attention to the needs of developing countries, which can be satisfied through the multiple economic and societal benefits related to the adoption of renewable energy strategies.

We therefore urge the signatories of IRENA who will come together for the decisions at the next meeting of IRENA in Egypt to harness Hermann Scheer’s talents and potential by entrusting him with the extraordinary role of Founding Chair to thereby directly support IRENA’s Director General.

We all have experienced his inspiration and achievements that are firmly based on his comprehensive view of the obstacles, practical solutions, and opportunities related to renewable energy. Therefore, we are convinced that his involvement is indispensable to ensure the success of IRENA’s work.

First signatories:

Franz Alt Journalist, writer, guest lecturer, Germany

Prof. Mustapha Ayaita Chair, MENA Institute University Kassel, Morocco

Heinrich Bartelt Treasurer, World Wind Energy Association

Marianne Bender Chair, OVE, Danish Renewable Energy Organisation

Jens-Peter Bonde Former Member of the European Parliament, Denmark

Prof. Godfrey Boyle Director, Energy & Environment Research Unit, Open Univ. Milton Keynes, UK

Lester Brown President, Earth Policy Institute, USA

Prof. Federico Butera Head, Research Unit Energy and Buildings, University Milan, Italy

Prof. Luciana Castellina Former Member of the European Parliament, Italy

Ole Vagn Christensen Member of the Danish Parliament, Social Democratic Party

Roberto Cogliati Dezza President, Lega Ambiente, Italy

Peter Danielsson Board member, SERO, National Organisation of Sweden’s Energy Associations

Prof. Peter Droege University of Liechtenstein, Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning

Michael Eckhart President, American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)

Dr. José Etcheverry President, Canadian Renewable Energy Alliance

Hans-Josef Fell Member of the German Parliament, Green Group

Anders Fisker Copenhagen Goodwill Ambassador, Danish Canadian Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Dörte Fouquet Director, European Renewable Energies Federation

Paul Gipe Author, advocate, renewable energy industry analyst, USA

Prof. Herbert Girardet Co-Founder and Director of Programmes, World Future Council

Giuliano Grassi Secretary General, European Biomass Industry Association

Stefan Gsänger Secretary General, World Wind Energy Association

Wolfgang Hein Former Head of Division, Energy and Environment Affairs, Austrian Chancellery

Prof. Dieter Holm President, ISES (International Solar Energy Society) Africa

Christine Hornstein Executive Director, ISES (International Solar Energy Society)

Prof. Frede Hvelplund Department of Development and Planning, Aalborg University, Denmark

Bianca Jagger Chair, World Future Council, President, Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation

Dr. Anil Kane President, World Wind Energy Association

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. International Environmental Advocate, USA

Ruth N. Kiwanuka CEO, Joint Energy and Environment Projects, Uganda

Klaus Knecht Chair, Renewable Energy Capacity Building Program INWENT, Germany

Stefan Kohler CEO, German Energy Agency

Andriy Konechenkov Chairman, Ukrainian Wind Energy Association

Dr. Hans Kronberger Former Member of the European Parliament, Austria

Jane Kruse Program Leader, World Wind Energy Institute

Jeremy Leggett Founder and Executive Chairman, Solar Century, UK

Zhouqing Li President TISET, Beijing, China

Prof. Wu Libin Secretary of Foreign Affairs, BIOMA / BRTC / China Biogas Society (CBS)

Amory B. Lovins Chairman, Rocky Mountain Institute, USA

Preben Maegaard Director, Nordic Folkecenter for Renewable Energy, Denmark

Ulla Meixner Chair, Financial Advisory Committee German Wind Energy Association

Prof. Niels I. Meyer Emeritus Professor of Physics, Technical University of Denmark

Christine Milne Senator, Australian Greens Deputy Leader, Spokesperson on Climate Change

Prof. Masataka Murahara Tokyo Institute of Technology, Japan

Raymond Myles Secretary General cum Chief Executive INSEDA, India

Hermann Oelsner President, African Wind Energy Association

Leoluca Orlando Member of the Italian Parliament, Former Mayor of Palermo, Italy

Prof. Galal Osman President, Egyptian Wind Energy Association

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah Special Representative of the UN Secretary -General in West Africa

Mauro Passos President, Instituto IDEAL, Brazil

Steen Piper Publisher, Forlaget Hovedland, Denmark

Prof. Josep Puig Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain

Ermete Realacci Member of the Italian Parliament, Honorary President, Lega Ambiente, Italy

Dr. Rudolf Rechsteiner Member of the National Council, Switzerland

Harald N. Roestvik Solar Pioneer, www.sunlab.no, Norway

Mechtild Rothe Vice President European Parliament, President EUFORES

Prof. Takeo S. Saitoh Ex-President, Japan Solar Energy Society

Ganesh Ram Shrestha Director, Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal

Prof. Lumin Shrestha Centre for Rural Technology, Nepal

Prof. Erico Spinadel President, Argentinian Wind Energy Association

David Suzuki Co-Founder, David Suzuki Foundation

IIDA Tetsunari Executive Director, Institute for Sustainable Energy Policies, Japan

Volker Thomsen President Ret., St. Lawrence College Kingston, Canada

Dr. Ibrahim Togola Director, Mali Folkecenter for Renewable Energy

Jakob von Uexkull Founder, World Future Council

Izumi Ushiyama President, Ashikaga Institute of Technology, Japan

Prof. Tanay Sidki Uyar Vice President, World Wind Energy Association

Dr. Gu Weidong Chief Scientist, Wind Power Project, National Basic Research Program, China

Dr. Marc A. Weiss Chairman and CEO, Global Urban Development

Prof. E.U. von Weizsäcker Former President, Wuppertal Institute, Germany

Moneef R. Zou'bi Director General, Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS)