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Irena promotes deputy Adnan Amin to replace Pelosse

The International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) has appointed Adnan Amin as its new interim director-general following the surprise resignation last week of Hélène Pelosse.

Amin, who has served as UN official in different capacities including environment policy coordination, will lead Irena until the organisation’s first assembly next year.

“My priority will be to put Irena on a firm institutional footing and to develop a compelling vision for the future of renewable energy worldwide,” he says.

Amin, who is Kenyan, was selected in August as deputy interim director-general of Irena.

Last week Pelosse unexpectedly resigned, as the fledgling Abu Dhabi-based organization faces serious budgetary shortfalls for next year.

Pelosse’s long-term commitment to Irena had been the focus of some speculation in recent months, but only last month, in an interview with Recharge, she reemphasized her intention to trade in her title as interim director general for a permanent position at the top of the group, claiming she wanted to take Irena from “infancy through painful adolescence and into adulthood”.

However, Irena’s working budget of $18m for next year faces an $8.4m hole, as deep-pocketed countries such as the US and Japan, which have signed onto the founding treaty but not yet ratified it, have yet to stump up their dues.

Amin previously served as director of the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) and prior to that was the executive director of the Secretariat of the Secretary-General's High Level Panel on UN system-wide coherence.

He also served for several years as the director of the New York Office of UNEP and as special representative of the UNEP executive director.

Amin has been responsible for environment policy coordination, inter-agency coordination and collaboration with other UN agencies and for outreach to civil society and the private sector.

He played the lead role in supporting the intergovernmental process to review International Environmental Governance and in the UN Environment Programme's participation in the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

The announcement of his promotion came as 300 delegates from more than 100 countries gathered in Abu Dhabi for Irena’s fourth session of its preparatory commission.