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FAQs: Membership

How many countries are members of the IEA?

29 countries.

Which countries are members of the IEA, and when did each join?

Australia (joined: 1979), Austria (founding member: 1974), Belgium (founding member: 1974), Canada (founding member: 1974), Czech Republic (joined: 2001), Denmark (founding member: 1974), Estonia (joined: 2014), Finland (joined: 1992), France (joined: 1992), Germany (founding member: 1974),  Greece (joined: 1976), Hungary (joined: 1997), Ireland (founding member: 1974), Italy (founding member: 1974), Japan (founding member: 1974), Republic of Korea (joined: 2002), Luxembourg (founding member: 1974), The Netherlands (founding member: 1974), New Zealand (joined: 1977), Norway (participates in the Agency under a special Agreement since 1974), Poland (joined: 2008), Portugal (joined: 1981), Slovak Republic (joined: 2007), Spain (founding member: 1974), Sweden (founding member: 1974), Switzerland (founding member: 1974), Turkey (founding member: 1974), United Kingdom (founding member: 1974), and the United States (founding member: 1974).

How do countries become member countries of the IEA?

Before becoming a member country of the IEA, a candidate country must be a member country of the OECD and 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 the Co-ordinated Emergency Response Measures (CERM) – which provide a rapid and flexible system of response to actual or imminent oil supply disruptions – be activated;
  • a demand restraint program 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.

A process ascertains whether or not the potential member country can meet these requirements, during which the IEA Secretariat advises and works with the candidate country. The final decision rests with the Governing Board.

Why are some members of the OECD not IEA member countries?

To be a member country of the IEA, a country must be a member country of the OECD.  However, membership in the OECD does not automatically result in membership in the IEA. As of 2015, Chile, Iceland, Israel, Mexico and Slovenia were members of the OECD but not of the IEA. In order to become a member country of the IEA, countries must meet certain requirements. As of January 2015, Chile was an IEA candidate. 

Does the IEA work with non-member countries?

Yes. Growing economic interdependence, an increasingly global energy market and environmental issues make IEA relations with non-member countries, industry, international organisations and other stakeholders especially important. Some 55% of global energy consumption in 2009 took place outside the OECD. Collectively, non-OECD countries are set to account for nearly 90% of the growth in global energy demand through to 2035. Directed by its member countries, the IEA has developed close co-operative working relationships with major energy consuming nations, such as China and India, and has strengthened ties with key producers, such as Russia and some OPEC member countries. Other priority partner countries include Brazil, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa.

The IEA studies energy-related developments in energy producing and consuming countries throughout the world, and examines the global context for policy decisions. Energy sector surveys undertaken by the IEA include a lengthening list of non-member countries. The Agency hosts periodic multilateral technical-level meetings with experts from energy producing and consuming countries to promote understanding and co-operation; organises seminar/workshops on specific topics, such as emergency response policies, and energy efficiency and regulatory issues with non-member countries; and, has recently developed a more formal training and capacity building programme.

How often does the IEA conduct policy analysis of member countries?

Approximately every four years, the policies of individual member countries are reviewed in-depth by a team of peers led by the IEA. In intervening years, brief standard reviews update the main energy policy developments and report on progress in implementing the recommendations of the in-depth reviews. All of these reviews are published, along with a synthesis report highlighting important cross-cutting policy issues. In-depth energy policy reviews of non-member countries are also conducted from time to time. The IEA undertakes policy analysis and co-operates in the development of policies in the areas of energy efficiency, energy diversification (electricity, natural gas, coal, renewable energy sources) and the integration of environmental concerns into energy policies.