IEA (the International Energy Agency) has established an independent, global commission to examine how progress on energy efficiency can be “rapidly accelerated”. The members include current and former ministers for energy and environment from Denmark; Germany; Ireland; Japan; Luxembourg; Morocco; New Zealand and Spain.
The IEA calculates that, through new and stronger policy action, the global economy could double in size by 2040; this, while still maintaining broadly the same level of energy use as today.
Those policies alone would enable the world to achieve more than 40 percent of the emissions cuts needed to reach international climate goals using cost-effective technologies that are already available. But policy implementation has slowed and efficiency progress is weakening.
Global energy-related CO2 emissions increased last year at their highest rate since 2013; meanwhile, air pollution continues causing millions of premature deaths each year.
“It is imperative that we get global energy efficiency progress back on track,” says Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director.