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High-level international figures meet to push for accelerated action on energy efficiency

4 December 2019
Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency, family photo

Members of the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency gather in Paris on 4 December, 2019 (Photograph: IEA)

Members of the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency met for the first time today to discuss ways to help the world’s governments fast-track progress on efficiency.

The commission has 23 members and is composed of national leaders, current and former ministers, top business executives and global thought leaders. The Irish Prime Minister, Mr Leo Varadkar, is the honorary chair of the commission.

Today’s meeting – which was chaired by Mr Richard Bruton, Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment – focussed on best practices for developing and implementing energy efficiency policies. Members also discussed ways to build support for energy efficiency policies among decision-makers and key stakeholder groups. The meeting gave members the opportunity to work towards a list of actionable recommendations for governments, to be released in June 2020 during the IEA’s 5th annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency.

During the meeting, members agreed that higher levels of ambition on efficiency, coupled with stronger global action, were both necessary and achievable.

 “The IEA is pleased to convene such a distinguished group of global figures around the critical topic of energy efficiency,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA’s Executive Director. “Today’s discussions were an important step forward in achieving faster progress on efficiency.”

The commission’s deliberations are informed by IEA analysis, which shows a worrying slowdown in global energy efficiency progress. Global primary energy intensity – an important indicator of how heavily the world economy activity uses energy – improved by just 1.2% in 2018. This is the slowest rate since the start of this decade, and well below an average 3% improvement rate that is possible using readily available energy efficiency technologies and measures.