The IEA is an autonomous inter-governmental organisation within the OECD framework, headed by its Executive Director
The ‘Governing Board’ is the decision-making body of the IEA, composed of energy ministers or their senior representatives from each IEA Member country. The Governing Board at ministerial level, held every two years, sets the broad directions for the Agency’s work. The Governing Board, at official level, takes the implementing decisions.
The Governing Board holds at least four meetings at the Director General (or equivalent) level each year to discuss global energy developments and take decisions necessary for the proper functioning of the Agency. The Governing Board also has ultimate responsibility for administrative matters of the IEA, including approving the biennial Programme of Work and Budget. The decisions of the Governing Board are legally binding on IEA Member countries.
The voting system is outlined in Articles 61 and 62 of the IEA constituent document, the International Energy Programme, or IEP Agreement. A qualified majority vote, a system that allocates voting weights to each member country, is required for all decisions on the management of the IEA Programme of Work, and on procedural questions and recommendations. Unanimity is required for all decisions other than those that call for a qualified majority vote. For example, unanimity is required for the activation of emergency measures specified in the IEP Agreement. In the IEA’s tradition, and whenever possible, however, most GB decisions are taken by consensus.
Several Standing Groups and Committees assist the Governing Board with files that are more technical in nature. They are made up of Member country government officials and meet several times a year.
- The Standing Group on Emergency Questions (SEQ) is responsible for all aspects of oil emergency preparedness and collective response to supply disruptions.
- The Standing Group on the Oil Market (SOM) monitors and analyses short- and medium-term developments in the international oil market to help member countries react promptly and effectively market changes.
- The Standing Group on Long-Term Co-operation (SLT) encourages co-operation among IEA Member countries to ensure collective energy security, improve economic efficiency of their energy sector and promote environmental protection in provision of energy services. The SLT has also established the Working Party on Energy Efficiency and the Working Party on Critical Minerals.
- The Standing Group for Global Energy Dialogue (SGD) is responsible for work with countries and regions outside of the IEA membership, including China and India. Many SGD projects draw upon both regional and sectoral expertise.
- The Committee on Budget and Expenditure (CBE) advises the Governing Board on resource management and administration. In particular, it advises the Governing Board on budget matters.
- The Committee on Energy Research and Technology (CERT) co-ordinates and promotes the development, demonstration and deployment of clean energy technologies. The CERT has established four working parties: the Working Party on Fossil Energy; the Working Party on Renewable Energy Technologies; the Working Party on Energy End-Use Technologies; and the Fusion Power Co-ordinating Committee. The CERT has also established an Experts' Group on R&D Priority-Setting and Evaluation (EGRD) to advise on R&D priority-setting, linkages to governmental policy objectives and methods in the evaluation of R&D activities, and an understanding of emerging R&D topics.
The Governing Board may delegate any of its functions to standing groups and committees and has done so in the past.
Finally, the Governing Board appoints the IEA Executive Director and takes all decisions necessary for the functioning of the administrative secretariat.
The IEA’s work is also informed by a variety of partnerships with business and industrial partners from all sectors, who provide valuable input into the agency’s work.
- The IEA Technology Collaboration Programmes (TCP) are independent, international groups of experts that enable governments and industries from around the world to lead programmes and projects on a wide range of energy technologies and related issues. The experts in these collaborations work to advance the research, development and commercialisation of specific energy technologies. There are currently 39 TCPs focused on topics across many sectors, including buildings, transport, industry, renewable energy, fossil energy and fusion power.
- The IEA has established several advisory boards to provide a forum for private-sector entities to share market-relevant information, industry advice and data. This includes the Industry Advisory Board (IAB) on oil, the Coal Industry Advisory Board (CIAB), the Energy Efficiency Industry Advisory Board (EEIAB) and the Renewable Industry Advsiory Board (RIAB).
- In addition, the Energy Business Council (EBC) is an informal executive-level group comprised of leading international companies involved in both the supply and demand side of the energy sector, as well as financial institutions and large technology manufacturers. The EBC is the overarching body through which the IEA interacts with industry. Its work helps inform IEA analysis and remains grounded in real-world solutions. It also establishes a forum for discussions among industry leaders on long-term stable policy frameworks needed to stimulate investment in sustainable energy infrastructure.
The size of the IEA budget and the scope of its work, known as the Programme of Work and Budget, are determined every two years by the Governing Board. With the approval of the Governing Board, countries and other energy stakeholders may make voluntary contributions to support and strengthen a wide range of activities in the IEA Programme of Work and Budget.
The Agency also receives some funding from private sources and contributions in-kind, especially in the form of staff-on-loan. Unlike the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, the IEA does not dispense grants or provide loans.
The IEA operates within the financial framework of the OECD, and the OECD Council appoints a Supreme Audit Institution of a member country, which performs an independent external auditing of the IEA’s accounts and financial management.