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Over 40 ministers, CEOs and other energy leaders take part in IEA’s biggest ever Global Conference on Energy Efficiency

24 June 2020

The International Energy Agency held its fifth Annual Global Conference on Energy Efficiency yesterday, bringing together more than 40 high-level speakers, including government ministers, top CEOs, heads of international organisations and international thought leaders.

IEA Executive Director Dr Fatih Birol opened the conference and introduced President Salomé Zourabichvili of Georgia who made remarks at the start of the first session, which focused on prioritising energy efficiency for achieving a sustainable economic recovery. The virtual conference took place over a full day, spanning timezones from East Asia to North America. It was broadcast live online, with more than 30,000 views from over 120 countries over the course of the day.

The conference put a strong emphasis on the important role that energy efficiency can play in responses to the economic crisis triggered by Covid-19 pandemic. A central feature was the launch of 10 key recommendations from the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency, which called for higher ambition and faster action by governments to accelerate improvements in energy efficiency. The participants recognised the major capacity of energy efficiency to contribute to a sustainable recovery by creating large numbers of jobs, boosting economic activity and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Energy efficiency is a jobs machine” said Dr Birol. “Governments are making hugely consequential decisions regarding their economic recovery plans, and energy efficiency should sit at the heart of efforts aimed at spurring economic growth while also making energy systems cleaner and more resilient.” 

The full agenda of high-level speakers can be found below.

The recommendations of the Global Commission for Urgent Action on Energy Efficiency and the insights from yesterday’s conference will be important elements informing discussions at the IEA’s Clean Energy Transitions Summit on 9 July. The Summit is the most important global event on energy and climate this year, bringing together more than 40 ministers from countries representing over 80% of global energy demand and emissions, as well as leaders from industry, the investment community and civil society.

Prioritising energy efficiency for sustainable economic recovery

  • Dr Fatih Birol, Executive Director, International Energy Agency
  • H.E. Ms Salomé Zourabichvili, President of Georgia
  • H.E. Mr Claude Turmes, Minister for Energy and Minister for Spatial Planning, Luxembourg
  • Mr Satoshi Tsunakawa, Chairman, Toshiba
  • Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, The Energy and Resources Institute, India
  • Ms Cristina Gamboa, Chief Executive Officer, World Green Building Council

Energy efficiency action to create jobs and support development

  • H.E. Dr Amani Abou-Zeid, Commissioner for Infrastructure and Energy, African Union Commission
  • Mr Kim Fausing, President and Chief Executive Officer, Danfoss
  • Mr Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, Energy Efficiency Services Limited, India
  • Mr Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chief Executive Officer, Saint-Gobain
  • Ms Audrey Zibelman, Chief Executive Officer, Australian Energy Market Operator
  • Dr Johan van Zyl, President and Chief Executive Officer, Toyota Motor Europe

Learning from global best practice

  • Mr Adam Sieminski, President, King Abdullah Petroleum Studies and Research Center, Saudi Arabia
  • Mr Abhay Bakre, Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, India
  • Mr Tomas Anker Christensen, Climate Ambassador, Denmark
  • Mr Tomohiro Kaneko, Deputy Commissioner for International Affairs, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan
  • Mr Clay Nesler, Interim President, Alliance to Save Energy, and Vice President, Johnson Controls, United States
  • Ms Monica Frassoni, President, European Alliance to Save Energy, Belgium
  • Dr Satish Kumar, President and Executive Director, Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy, India
  • Ms Sang Jing, Founder and Executive Director, China Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy, China

Engaging at all levels of society to accelerate efficiency progress

  • H.E. Ms Teresa Ribera Rodriguez, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Ecological Transition, Spain
  • H.E. Dr Leonore Gewessler, Minister of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology, Austria
  • H.E. Mr Richard Bruton, Minister for Climate Action and Environment, Ireland
  • H.E. Mr Alfonso Cusi, Secretary of Energy, Philippines
  • Ms Lisa Murkowski, US Senator, Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, United States
  • Dr Kandeh Yumkella, Former UN Under-Secretary-General and former CEO, Sustainable Energy for All, Sierra Leone
  • Mr Gil C. Quiniones, President and CEO, New York Power Authority, United States
  • Ms Connie Hedegaard, Chair, KR Foundation, Denmark

The importance of global collaboration on energy efficiency

  • H.E. Ms Kadri Simson, European Commissioner for Energy, European Commission
  • H.E. Dr Kwasi Kwarteng, Minister of State for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, United Kingdom H.E. Dr Jorge Rivera, Secretary of Energy, Panama
  • H.E. Mr Sergio Costa, Minister of the Environment, Italy
  • Dr Tina Birmpili, Head of UN Ozone Secretariat, United Nations Environment Programme
  • Ms Jessica Brown, Executive Director, the Kigali Cooling Efficiency Program
  • Ms Charlotte Wang, Founder and CEO, EQuota, China

New approaches to energy efficiency action

  • H.E. Mr Seamus O'Regan, Minister of Natural Resources, Canada
  • Mr Gerassimos Thomas, Deputy Minister of the Environment and Energy, Greece
  • Dr Marina Robles, Secretary of Environment, Mexico City
  • Mr Andrew McDowell, Vice President, European Investment Bank
  • Mr Alex Fitzsimmons, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency, United States
  • Mr Michael Liebreich, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Liebreich Associates
  • Mr Andrés García-Ortiz, President, Asociación Nacional de Empresas de Eficiencia Energética, Chile
Read the report

With analytical support from the IEA, Global Commission members have examined how progress on energy efficiency can be rapidly accelerated through new and stronger policy action by governments across the globe. It has developed this series of actionable recommendations to support governments in achieving more ambitious action on energy efficiency.

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