In his opening remarks to a meeting held in connection with the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris, the Icelandic Minister for Foreign Affairs, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, today announced the establishment of the Global Geothermal Alliance. The Alliance is formed by over thirty states and organisations. In his address, the Minister stated that the international community must reach an agreement on ambitious goals for the climate. In this regard it is important to use the possibilities offered by geothermal energy resources in many places worldwide. Mr. Sveinsson applauded the considerable interest shown in the alliance, which, alongside Iceland, counts France, the United States, Italy and New Zealand among its founders, as well as a number of developing countries and multinational organisations, such as the World Bank, the African Union and regional development banks. The National Energy Authority, the Iceland GeoSurvey and the Geothermal Training Programme of the United Nations University are also among the founding members.
In his speech, the Minister spoke of Iceland's experience in the utilisation of geothermal energy and its importance in decreasing the use of fossil fuels in Iceland in the last three decades. He stressed the importance of increasing education and knowledge in the geothermal field, among specialists from the developing countries, through the Geothermal Training Programme of the United Nations University, which has been ongoing since 1978.
Iceland spearheaded the establishment of the alliance and IRENA, the International Renewable Energy Agency, did the necessary groundwork and will host the operations at its headquarters in Abu Dhabi. The alliance is intended as a venue in which states, organisations and companies will work towards the increased utilisation of geothermal energy on a global scale.
The objective of the alliance is to increase the share of geothermal energy in the world's energy use, to increase electricity production fivefold by 2030 and to double the use of geothermal for domestic heating in the same time period. The forum is also meant be part of the support for the initiative of the Secretary-General of the UN to increase the percentage of sustainable energy by more than 50 % by 2030 (Sustainable Energy for All by 2030).