The IEA is an autonomous organisation which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 29 member countries and beyond. The IEA has four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.
Founded in 1974, the IEA was initially designed to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in the supply of oil such as the crisis of 1973/4.
While this remains a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative statistics and analysis.
An autonomous organisation, the IEA examines the full spectrum of energy issues and advocates policies that will enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy in its 29 members countries and beyond.
The four main areas of IEA focus are:
- Energy security: Promoting diversity, efficiency and flexibility within all energy sectors;
- Economic development: Ensuring the stable supply of energy to IEA member countries and promoting free markets to foster economic growth and eliminate energy poverty;
- Environmental awareness: Enhancing international knowledge of options for tackling climate change; and
- Engagement worldwide: Working closely with non-member countries, especially major producers and consumers, to find solutions to shared energy and environmental concerns.
The Executive office is made up of the Executive Director, the Deputy Executive Director and their respective advisors and support staff.
The IEA has a staff of 240 enthusiastic professionals (energy analysts, modellers, data managers/statisticians, technicians, secretaries and support staff) working together on global energy challenges.
The IEA works with a broad range of groups, committees and advisory bodies, some of which include representatives from the private sector and IEA non-member countries, and for which the legal bases vary.
Standing groups and committees
In addition to the Governing Board, the IEA has several Standing Groups and Committees, made up of member country government officials, which meet several times a year.
The IEA was founded in 1974 to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in the supply of oil. While this remains a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative statistics and analysis.
When it was founded, the main objectives of the IEA were:
- to maintain and improve systems for coping with oil supply disruptions
- to promote rational energy policies in a global context through co-operative relations with non-member countries, industry and international organisations
- to operate a permanent information system on the international oil market
- to improve the world’s energy supply and demand structure by developing alternative energy sources and increasing the efficiency of energy use
- to promote international collaboration on energy technology, and
- to assist in the integration of environmental and energy policies.
While these remain key aspects of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded over the decades. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing authoritative statistics and analysis. The IEA examines the full spectrum of energy issues and advocates policies that will enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of energy in its 29 members countries and beyond.
Key historical documents
The IEA is made up of 29 member countries. Before becoming a member country of the IEA, a candidate country must demonstrate that it has:
- as a net oil importer, reserves of crude oil and/or product equivalent to 90 days of the prior year’s average net oil imports to which the government (even if it does not own those stocks directly) has immediate access should there be activation of the Co-ordinated Emergency Response Measures (CERM) – which provide a rapid and flexible system of response to actual or imminent oil supply disruptions
- a demand-restraint programme for reducing national oil consumption by up to 10%
- legislation and organisation necessary to operate, on a national basis, the CERM, and
- legislation and measures in place to ensure that all oil companies operating under its jurisdiction report information as is necessary.
Since the 1980s, the IEA has been building good working relationships with countries beyond its membership, in particular major energy consuming, producing and transit countries.