Press release

Media workshops on renewable energy at COP17 in Durban: registration information

November 24, 2011

GENEVA--November 25, 2011--The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is convening a series of media workshops during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP17, in Durban, South Africa to inform journalists on key issues facing the renewable energy sector.

The workshops—organized in partnership with the South African Ministry of Energy, the International Institute for Sustainable Development and the South African Renewables Initiative—will feature briefings by experts from the private sector, government, international organizations and news media.

Speakers will provide the latest information on investment trends in renewables, innovative financing solutions, and impacts of renewables on jobs and economic growth. Resource materials will bring together key facts and figures and highlight opportunities for news reporting.

The following issues will be explored at six workshop sessions:

Thursday, December 1, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (SAST): Financing Renewables to Scale – Lessons from South Africa and Elsewhere

Monday, December 5, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (SAST): Access to Energy – What Role for Renewable Energy?

Monday, December 5, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. (SAST): Energy Subsidies – How Much is Being Spent and to What Effect? Note: this workshop will be held at the Durban International Convention Centre (ICC)

Tuesday, December 6, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (SAST): Barriers to Renewable Energy – What are They and How Can They Be Overcome?

Wednesday, December 7, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (SAST): Unlocking the Door to a Green Economy – Renewable Energy, Job Creation and Economic Growth

Thursday, December 8, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. (SAST): A special closing session on renewable energy in Africa will be organized by the South African Department of Energy.

Where the sessions will be held:

Upper Deck of the Phantom Ship, uShaka Marine World, except the workshop on Energy Subsidies, Monday, December 5, 5:00 to 6:30 p.m., which will be held in the Bellona Solutions Centre, Room 14, Durban ICC.

The speakers include:

Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General, IRENA; George Mnguni, Deputy Director General, South African Department of Energy; Ogunlade Davidson, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Sierra Leone; Philippe Benoit, Head of Energy Efficiency and Environment, International Energy Agency; Sakkie Leimecke, Lead Principal: Energy, Nedbank; Kirsty Hamilton, Fellow, Energy, Environment and Development Programme, Chatham House; and other high-level government representatives.

Journalists should register their interest in attending by sending an email to: Please include your name, affiliation, contact details and the workshops of interest.

For more information, please contact IISD senior economist Peter Wooders at or IISD's GSI communications coordinator Damon Vis-Dunbar at +41 22 917-8848 or

About IISD

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an award-winning independent think tank working to accelerate solutions for a stable climate, sustainable resource management, and fair economies. Our work inspires better decisions and sparks meaningful action to help people and the planet thrive. We shine a light on what can be achieved when governments, businesses, non-profits, and communities come together. IISD’s staff of more than 250 experts come from across the globe and from many disciplines. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa, and Toronto, our work affects lives in nearly 100 countries.