Paris - Dr Fatih Birol, the International Energy Agency’s Executive Director, met with the Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Ms Sigrid Kaag today to review developments in global energy markets and discuss efforts to achieve the goal of universal access to affordable, reliable and sustainable energy services. Dr. Birol highlighted an upcoming report on tracking energy access globally, that he will present to the United Nations on 18 April.
Dr. Birol also outlined the IEA’s recent Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) that illustrate how some of the world’s most pressing energy challenges can be achieved simultaneously: meeting the Climate Goals of the Paris Agreement, providing Energy Access to all, and reducing local air pollution. He also noted that the IEA is monitoring and tracking progress on all these important goals.
Minister Kaag expressed appreciation for the SDS and Dr. Birol’s long-term personal commitment to the issue of energy access and for the IEA’s extensive body of work in this area. She also highlighted the incentives the Dutch government is giving to boost energy access in Africa, notably through the use of renewable energy sources. While the continent has high potential for renewables, namely hydro, solar and wind, some two-thirds of the population still lack access to clean and affordable energy. Minister Kaag and Dr Birol also discussed how the recent sharp decreases in the costs of solar and wind provide an excellent opportunity for rapid progress on increasing energy access.