Climate-energy policies for low-carbon transitions
Many countries around the world are embarking on transitions to sustainable energy systems. Others are already well underway. These transitions will involve fundamental and interrelated changes in technologies and fuels used, infrastructure built, policies employed, markets and institutions. Lessons learned by countries whose transitions are already underway are potentially transferable and could help enhance effectiveness of policy packaging in other jurisdictions.
Real-world policy packages
IEA work on "real-world policy packages" investigates and addresses the complexities of layered energy-climate policy mixes and their interactions. We aim to help national policymakers deliver more effective, realistic, and well-integrated low-carbon climate and energy policies that take account of local political realities. Issues include integration of energy and climate policies with wider policy objectives, exploring the realistic role for moderate carbon prices, and understanding the benefits and trade-offs of "second-best" policy approaches. The work draws upon IEA’s world leading scenario modelling, as well as working directly with government policymakers to understand choices and trade-offs in policy packages in differing national contexts.
One particular focus will be a partnership with China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) to undertake a project on mapping China's policy mix and policy alignment, including by hosting a visiting staff member from NDRC for this work.
An initial scoping analysis of these topics is presented in the paper “Real-world Policy Packages”, to be released in 2017. This paper includes analysis using IEA World Energy Model scenarios to understand what supplementary policies may be needed to achieve a low-carbon transition if carbon prices are at moderate levels over the next 10-20 years, and a case study of Canada’s low-carbon policy mix.
Real-world policy packages for sustainable energy transitions
Many countries are embarking on transitions to sustainable energy systems. Others are already well underway. Their transitions will require fundamental and interrelated changes in technologies, fuels, infrastructure, policies, markets and institutions. We provide an initial exploration of the key elements of policy packages for sustainable energy transitions as well as their application in different timeframes. Using the lens of "real-world" policy implementation, an overarching theme of the paper is that there is no single energy transition policy package that fits all countries - national policy objectives and constraints will shape each jurisdiction’s policy mix.
Taking the challenge of implementing robust carbon pricing as one example of a constraint faced in implementation of policy packages, we also quantitatively analyse the role of moderate carbon pricing across different sectors in IEA scenarios. Finally, an in-depth case study of Canada’s low carbon energy transition policy package shows that policy packages are essential - and inevitable - to drive sustainable energy transition in thee real world, but attention must be paid to interactions amongst policies.
Energy, Climate Change and Environment: 2016 Insights
The historic Paris Agreement on climate change sets the course for a fundamental transformation of the global economy over the next decades. The Agreement’s overarching goal of limiting global average temperature rise to "well below 2°C" will entail profound changes in the global energy system. Achieving the deep cuts in global carbon emissions that this vision requires is no small task given the enormous challenge of implementing – and eventually exceeding – current country climate pledges.
This publication examines key sectors, technologies, and policy measures that will be central in this transition to a low-carbon energy system.
Carbon pricing and emissions trading
Carbon pricing is a critical element of energy-climate policy packages. Accurate pricing of energy drives decisions in investment, operations, and consumption across the energy sector by all actors. One form of carbon pricing, emissions trading, is a way of introducing flexibility into a system where participants have to meet emissions targets. These participants may be countries (as in the case of UNFCCC targets), or companies (as in the case of a domestic emissions trading scheme). Participants can buy units to cover any emissions above their targets, or sell units if they reduce their emissions below their targets. The presence of a market for these units creates a value for emissions reductions which stimulates investment in the most cost-effective areas. Emissions trading leads to a reduction in compliance costs compared to meeting the same target through domestic/internal means only.
IEA-IETA-EPRI Annual Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading
Each year, the International Energy Agency (IEA), International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) organise an invitation-only workshop on greenhouse gas emissions trading. This annual event brings together over one hundred senior officials from OECD countries, the European Union and other nations, corporate executives from electric companies, energy-intensive industries, brokerage companies and the financial community, analysts and researchers from non-governmental organisations and academia, to discuss developments in GHG emissions trading and related issues around the world. The workshop combines presentations based on recent research with interactive discussions, held under the Chatham House rule.
- 17th IEA-IETA-EPRI Annual Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading
- 16th IEA-IETA-EPRI Annual Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading
- 15th IEA-IETA-EPRI Annual Workshop on Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading
Our work on Climate change
Climate-Energy Policies for Low-Carbon Transitions
Countries around the world are embarking on transitions to sustainable energy systems. Given the complexity of these transitions, no single policy can hope to be a silver bullet; comprehensive and integrated policy packages are needed.
Tracking Transition of the Energy Sector
Energy systems are undergoing substantial changes. Tracking the progress of clean energy is essential to achieve sustainable, secure and affordable energy and to assess collective progress towards long-term goals.
Energy Transitions in Emerging Economies
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. The IEA works to build good working relationships with countries beyond its membership.
IEA and the UNFCCC
The IEA promotes international collective action on climate change by supporting the UNFCCC and countries with solutions, analysis, and data for the global energy transition.
Policies and Measures Database (PAMS)
Explore this database containing country-validated information on climate change policies and measures from around the world
Future Scenarios for Climate Change
Access our latest modelling and analysis to gain insight into potential future scenarios for energy and climate change globally.
Real-world policy packages for sustainable energy transitions
Shaping energy transition policies to fit national objectives and constraints
World Energy Outlook 2017
Scenarios and projections to 2040, including the new Sustainable Development Scenario
CO2 Emissions From Fuel Combustion Highlights 2017
Contains world graphs and tables and main regional aggregates for 150 countries and regions
- Commentary: The importance of real-world policy packages to drive energy transitions
9 July 2018
- Economic value of energy efficiency can drive reductions in global CO2 emissions
17 April 2018
- IEA hosts joint data meeting with experts from IPCC
15 December 2017
Events & workshops
WorkshopReal-world policy packages for sustainable energy transitionsParis, France