IEA welcomes G8 call for action on energy security and sustainability

(Paris) — 9 July 2008

“With energy demand continuing to grow, prices breaking records and concern about climate change intensifying, we need policies that bring sustainable solutions,” Nobuo Tanaka, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), said today after the Group of Eight Summit in Toyako/Japan came to a close. “We are very pleased that G8 leaders are so engaged in finding and implementing these policies. They recognise the need for greater investment to ensure energy supply, but are also committed to increasing levels of energy efficiency and promoting new energy technology,” Mr. Tanaka added.

The IEA shares the G8 concerns about the recent spike in oil prices, considering the prices too high and a threat to the global economy and social welfare of millions of people, particular in developing countries. For many emerging economies which are now increasingly reliant on oil imports and are playing a much more significant role in international energy markets than they did during the oil crises in 1973 or 1979, this is effectively their first oil shock. “The energy challenges we face – in terms of energy security and climate change – are global and call for a global response,” noted Mr. Tanaka. “For this reason, we welcome the G8 support for deepened dialogue between the IEA and major emerging economies. We have learned best policies and practices around the world from members of the IEA and many others. We look forward to sharing this experience more broadly.

“The so-called oil burden, or the expenditure on oil as a percentage of GDP, has been rising steadily since 2003 and is now close to past peaks,” Mr. Tanaka said. He added: “We welcome the G8 focus on the importance of expanded upstream and downstream investment in the energy sector, and the call on all governments to provide an attractive, transparent investment environment.” Expressing the need for better data quality and timeliness, Mr. Tanaka welcomed the co-operation by consumers and producers on the Joint Oil Data Initiative, but stated that still more needed to be done.

Focusing on environment and climate change, the final G8 communiqué calls for further sectoral work to improve energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions through new technology. Considering that energy efficiency is the necessary first step, the IEA submitted 25 energy efficiency recommendations to the G8. “It is now for the governments to follow through,” Mr. Tanaka said. “If implemented globally, without delay, our proposed actions could save around 8.2 Gt CO2 per year by 2030. This is equivalent to roughly double OECD Europe’s total 2005 CO2 emissions. The formation of the International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Co-operation (IPEEC) is also a promising development,” said Mr. Tanaka.

Furthermore, the G8 communiqué urges progress on clean energy, noting the potential for renewables as well as sustainable biofuel production and use. Mr. Tanaka welcomed that an IEA initiative to develop roadmaps for new energy technologies was given firm G8 support. “Broader international co-operation on promising programmes such as deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) is essential if we are to identify and move to market the energy technologies of tomorrow.”

The G8 communiqué strongly supports the IEA recommendation to governments to act now to commit by 2010 at least 20 fully integrated industrial-scale CCS demonstration projects worldwide, to make CCS available for broad deployment by 2020.

Following up on an initial request made by G8 leaders at the Gleneagles Summit in 2005, the IEA has conducted extensive analysis to make concrete recommendations on achieving a "clean, clever and competitive" energy future. The results have been presented to the G8 summits in St. Petersburg, Heiligendamm and most recently, Toyako. “G8 leaders recognise the problems we face and understand the goals we need to achieve. We are honoured by the important role the G8 has attributed to the IEA and its expertise to help address the world’s energy challenges,” concluded Mr. Tanaka.

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