A complete understanding of energy markets requires appreciating the views of all important players – their concerns, the challenges they face and the solutions they are considering. IEA countries account for just under half of the world’s energy consumption, but all countries participate in global markets, and emerging economies increasingly are confronting the same energy challenges as developed nations.
Since the 1980s, the IEA has continued to build good working relationships with countries beyond its membership, in particular major energy consuming, producing and transit countries. At the IEA’s Ministerial Meeting in 2011, bilateral work programmes were agreed with key economic players: Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia and South Africa. At the 2013 Ministerial meeting, the IEA Secretariat and six of the seven key "partner countries" – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Russia and South Africa – agreed to a Joint Declaration on Association that represents the first time that the IEA and partner countries have publicly expressed interest in exploring the mutual benefits of adding a multilateral dimension to their already-strong bilateral co-operation.
Co-operation with these and other partner countries covers a wide range of activities, among them:
- jointly holding topical workshops on specific topics such as emergency response policies, energy efficiency and energy market regulation
- co-operating on in-depth surveys of specific energy sectors in partner countries, or their preparedness for major disruptions to oil and gas supplies
- helping experts and organisations from 20 partner countries join the IEA’s network of Energy Technology Initiatives (Implementing Agreements) and the International Low-Carbon Technology Platform
- holding training and capacity-building activities to spread best practices in energy policy and energy statistics.
The IEA also co-operates with the other international organisations and forums that work in the field of energy. It plays an active role in discussions with producer countries and with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), particularly within the International Energy Forum (IEF). On statistics, the IEA is a founding partner of the Joint Organisations Data Initiative (JODI). In addition, the IEA works closely with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The IEA also supports energy-related work of the Group of 20 and Group of Seven and the Clean Energy Ministerial (CEM).
This engagement with partner countries and other international organisations is an integral part of the Agency’s efforts to provide all stakeholders – from policy makers to business leaders – with a truly global view of the world’s energy system.