Steadily increasing global energy consumption, rising energy prices and the in some cases disastrous consequences of climate change are strong arguments in favour of the rapid development of renewable energy sources. It was against that background that the German Federal Government resolved to establish an international organisation to promote renewables: the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). An initial preparatory conference attended by 170 participants from 60 countries was held at the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin from April 9 to 11, 2008.
adelphi's role was initially to prepare the conference in substantive and conceptional respects and to host the event. In fulfilling that role, adelphi helped produce draft statutes and outlined the possible range of tasks and future activities which the IRENA might undertake. It also drafted a working paper on the opportunities offered by establishing such an organisation.
The success of the initial preparatory conference enabled the project to be substantially extended. A large number of working groups comprising representatives from various federal departments were formed under the management of adelphi. adelphi also played a key role in planning and organising two international workshops held at the end of June 2008 as follow-ups to the initial preparatory conference. In doing so, it drafted a range of background documents and input papers on topics including "Goals and planned activities of IRENA" and "Organisation a finance".