The IEA Energy Business Council (EBC) brings together some of the world’s largest companies involved in energy exploration, production and consumption, ranging from oil, natural gas and coal companies to automobile and appliance manufacturers, wind and solar producers and financial institutions. The aim of EBC is to promote dialogue among the IEA, business community and policymakers across a broad range of cross-cutting issues with important implications for the global energy system. It is the overarching body through which the IEA interacts with the energy business community, complemented by a series of topic-specific groups including the Renewables Industry Advisory Board, the Coal Industry Advisory Board, and the Electricity Security Advisory Panel.
Meetings of the Energy Business Council (EBC) are designed to provide an opportunity for governments and industry to discuss current and pressing issues in energy markets, as well as share views on medium- and long-term policies. One of the most important objectives of the EBC meetings is to provide feedback on IEA activities, with a specific focus on IEA publications such as Medium-Term Market Reports, the World Energy Outlook (WEO), Global Energy Investment Report (GEIR) and Energy Technology Perspectives (ETP).
As a result, this exchange works both ways. On the one hand, insights from EBC meetings provide valuable input to IEA work, and on the other, IEA analysis constitutes a useful reference, providing support for informed decision-making in business and industry.
Opinion leaders, both from governments and industry, acknowledge the importance of IEA analysis as a fundamental guide on the dynamics of the global energy sector. The EBC process is recognized as an instrumental forum, developing confidence and dialogue among energy market stakeholders. CEOs and Chairpersons of EBC member companies regularly participate in biennial IEA Ministerial meetings.
IEA findings are frequently used in industry publications such as financial, annual and sustainability reports and presentations.
An open and structured dialogue with the energy industry is vital for the IEA in order to accomplish its mission to advocate policies that will enhance the reliability, affordability and sustainability of global energy markets. The Energy Business Council (EBC) operates with the aim to ensuring that the voice of the private sector is heard in the international energy policy debate.
The EBC convenes a few times each year in order to:
- Discuss recent market developments and current challenges in energy markets and
- Establish a forum for interactive discussions between policy-makers and industry executives to debate what kind of long-term stable policy frameworks are necessary to stimulate investment in sustainable energy infrastructure
- Provide inputs from businesses on IEA work
EBC meetings are held as:
- Private events with the participation of industry executives and IEA senior management
- Joint sessions with the IEA Governing Board, the main decision-making body of the IEA, which brings together directors-general from ministries of the IEA’s 29 member countries
- Joint sessions between ministers from IEA member, associate and partner countries and industry chief executives as a formal part of IEA Ministerial meetings
- Virtual meetings (through video conferences)
In order to foster a frank and constructive dialogue, all EBC meetings are conducted under the Chatham House Rule, which states that “participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed”.
The membership of the EBC evolves over time according to priority issues within the IEA work programme, and participation is by invitation only. In order to foster a frank and constructive dialogue, all EBC meetings are conducted under the Chatham House Rule, which states that “participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed”.