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UK government and IEA spearhead largest ever global initiative to make products more energy efficient

04 November 2021

The UK government and the International Energy Agency announced today that four major economies – Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Nigeria – have signed onto their action plan for rapidly improving the energy efficiency of products sold around the world, bringing the total to 14 and making it the largest ever global initiative of its kind.

Jointly led by the UK government and the IEA, the COP26 Product Efficiency Call to Action is an ambitious initiative to double the efficiency of key internationally traded products by 2030 in order to help drive reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions and consumers’ energy bills. The Call to Action encourages governments to deploy a range of policies such as product standards, labels and incentives to raise the efficiency of high-energy consuming products.

It focuses in particular on four key products – lighting, refrigerators, air conditioners and industrial motor systems – which together account for over 40% of global electricity demand and over 5 billion tonnes of global CO2 emissions per year. Fulfilling the commitments across all signatories would bring substantial energy demand savings, avoid greenhouse gas emissions, promote business innovation and ensure consumer access to affordable and high-performing technologies.

Over the past week, the governments of Australia, Indonesia, Japan and Nigeria endorsed the Joint Statement for Action on Product Efficiency, bringing the total number of government signatories to 14. Their addition makes the total energy savings achievable under the initiative greater than the previous largest initiative on product efficiency, the Global Lighting Challenge

“IEA analysis clearly shows the importance of energy efficiency for reaching net zero emissions globally,” said Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director. “Policies to improve the efficiency of products have already helped halve the energy consumption of major appliances in many markets, allowing consumers to benefit from significant savings while also lowering greenhouse gas emissions. I welcome the commitments of the governments that have endorsed our Call to Action. We hope to see more countries joining soon and look forward to working with them all to deliver the significant economic, social and environmental benefits of energy efficiency.”

The Call to Action is part of the Super-efficient Appliances and Equipment Deployment (SEAD) Initiative, which will be instrumental for efforts in the coming years to move the world onto a path towards net zero emissions.

Policies to improve the efficiency of products like appliances and equipment have been proven to be effective in delivering energy and emissions savings, and can make the rest of the clean energy transition cheaper, easier and faster. The next generation of internet-connected appliances and digital technologies are opening a new frontier for product efficiency policy, redefining the scale and scope of what is achievable.

Dr Birol discussed the importance of energy efficient products at an event at COP26 in Glasgow today with UK Business, Energy and Clean Growth Minister Greg Hands, Nigerian Environment Minister Sharon Ikeazor, Director General Abhay Bakre of the Indian Bureau of Energy Efficiency and other leading figures. Following the conclusion of COP26, the IEA and SEAD will support signatories’ efforts to achieve the aims of the Call to Action by providing knowledge, skills and access to networks.

To find out more about the COP26 Product Efficiency Call to Action, read this recent IEA article and visit https://superefficient.org/cop26-call-to-action.