The European Union joined the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) as its 138th member this month. It is the first inter-governmental organization to join this new agency, which aims to speed up the use of renewable energy sources in the world. "By joining IRENA, the European Union has shown that the promotion of renewable energy sources worldwide is a key element of our external energy policy," said EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs. "With less then a month before Copenhagen, this again underlines that the EU collectively supports a shift away from fossil fuels and towards renewable technologies. Making this shift today rather then later benefits us in terms of the climate, security of supply and also the economy."