Global transition to clean energy and electricity security at the centre of New Zealand visit of Executive Director

(Auckland) — 21 February 2017

Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA's executive director, meeting with New Zealand's Minister of Energy and Resources, Judith Collins.   Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA's executive director, meeting with New Zealand's Minister of Energy and Resources, Judith Collins. (Photograph: IEA)

The International Energy Agency’s executive director, Dr Fatih Birol, visited New Zealand this week where he presented with Judith Collins, the Minister of Energy and Resources, the IEA’s latest in-depth review of New Zealand energy policies.

Ms Collins praised the new IEA vision as a clean energy hub and confirmed that the IEA was a key partner for New Zealand's international energy collaboration, notably in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as its strong commitments to renewable energy and effective energy and carbon markets.

Dr Birol and Ms Collins discussed opportunities for New Zealand to expand the role of renewable energy to sectors beyond power, such as industrial heat. Ms Collins welcomed the IEA’s energy review and supported the key importance of electricity security during the energy system transition.

Visiting Wellington on Monday, Dr. Birol met with Simon Bridges, the Minister for Economic Development and Transport, and discussed the outlook for electric vehicles and clean transport solutions in New Zealand.

Dr Birol also held meetings at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Environment and with New Zealand's Climate Change Ambassador, where the IEA and New Zealand agreed on the need to support global policy advice and quantitative analysis for the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies and the energy transition, both through bilateral collaboration and multilateral fora, such as APEC, the WTO and the G20.

The global energy transition and greater digitalisation in a smart energy system were at the centre of a lunch-time debate with Dr. Birol and representatives of the energy industry at the Smart Grid Forum, which was held in Wellington.

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